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The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year… (2012)

by David Crist

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The Twilight War

The Twilight War, by David Crist is an interesting look at the seemingly endless conflict between the United States and Iran. To say that Crist has spent a great deal of time researching this subject would be a hopeless understatement. The book is informative, enlightening and in some aspects, even entertaining.

Any student of military history, middle-eastern relations, or foreign affairs will find The Twilight War every bit as spellbinding as a well written suspense novel.

With the current ‘treaty’ over Iran’s nuclear weapons program just falling into place, acquiring a copy of this book will bring the reader up to speed as to what brought these two nations where they are today. Hopefully we are seeing the beginning of a ‘happy ending’ to this conflict, although if history has taught us anything, it is not to expect miracles when it comes to adversaries who never seem able to find the same page at the same time.

www.daniellittle.com ( )
  Sturgeon | Jan 19, 2016 |
The Twilight War ought to be required reading for everyone interested in contemporary events in the Middle East. Starting from the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, Crist details the mistakes, mis-steps and rare successes of both the military and the politicians on both sides of the divide. Although I disagree with his conclusion (even Crist notes that the veterans of the Revolution in Iran are getting old, and a younger generation may have their own ideas on the conflict) it's easy to see how a war between Iran and the U.S. might break out, even if neither side wants such a fight. ( )
  BruceCoulson | Mar 21, 2014 |
If there is anything like a primarily ideological adversary to modern US foreign policy, it is violent religious fundamentalism. This is most typified in their stormy relationship with Iran. They once were a bulwark ally in the region (after we propped the Shah up with a coup) but now we are each other's boogeymen. Here, Crist makes an incisive history of our complex and stormy confrontations.

Carter, we know, had a disastrous time. But Reagan made his share of mistakes, too. Most notably Iran-Contra and arms-for-hostages deals. His first policies were thinking of preventing Soviet control of Iran - which makes no sense in hindsight. Iran was a theocratic, fatalist, revolutionary, xenophobic state - hardly one to cooperate with the atheist Communists who had also invaded their neighbor, Afghanistan.

There was also the question of our involvement in the Iran-Iraq War. Some officials in the Reagan administration balked at the idea of supporting Saddam, but they were ignored. And now we see trench warfare, chemical weapons and child soldiers.

The main goal of US policy was attempting to preserve the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf and prevent tensions between their Peninsular Allies (Saudi Arabia mainly), but also Israel, which is another area onto itself.

Both Bushes were involved in dealing with Iran, as well. Bush II led his mad crusades and only succeeded in exacerbating the government. Clinton made temporary overtures, but his main priorities were East Africa, the Balkans, and his own Congress.

Obama first offered another olive branch with his Cairo speech, but it was quickly rebuffed by Iranian officials, thinking him to be another weak and feckless Carter. But as the Arab revolts boil around them and Obama orders drone strikes and harder sanctions, we can see his willingness to harden his stance. But unfortunately, it is entirely possible that the autocrats will continue to act in their interests, and let the Iranian people suffer, as seen with the sanctions of 1990s Iraq.

Crist has produced an astonishing analysis of this complex topic, and one that is essential for further understanding of this most volatile region. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
In The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran David Crist provides a very readable account of America's conflict with Iran, starting with the takeover of the embassy in Tehran in 1979. Described in detail is the tanker war that brought US and Iranian forces into a shooting match. Also described are the more covert ways the US tried to curtail Iran's influence in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East as well as the nuclear weapons issue. ( )
  LamSon | Dec 11, 2012 |
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(Preface) Every day one fifth of the world's oil exports flow through the twenty-mile-wide Strait of Hormuz that links the Persian Gulf with the outside world.
At two a.m. on January 4, 1979, the loud ringing of the secure telephone jolted U.S. Air Force General Robert "Dutch" Huyser awake and out of his warm bed in Stuttgart, Germany.
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Reveals the covert operations that have brought the United States and Iran to the brink of open war, including Iran's proposal for peace after 9/11, which was rejected by President Bush, and Iran's secret army in post-U.S. invasion Iraq.

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