Archive for March, 2012

Review of “Israel’s Critical Security Requirements”
March 18, 2012

In “Israel’s Critical Security Requirements” a group of experts lay out what Israel’s really needs to protect itself in serious and practical terms.  With Obama calling for Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 borders, this book clearly outlines what, in terms of territory, Israel needs to protect itself. Specifically, Israel must retain control of the Jordan Valley and an eventual Palestinian state must be unarmed.  The essays in this volume lay out the specific security threats that Israel faces, especially regarding the threat of shoulder-mounted missiles.  These chapters are well-researched and footnoted.  The maps are clear and are a wonderful addition to the book.


Review of “Iran: From Regional Challenge to Global Threat”
March 18, 2012

With Iran becoming the subject of increasing attention and scrutiny, I have been looking for a quick book that could give me all of the relevant and timely information available, and this book provides all of that.  A collection of short essays between 2 and 10 pages long, “Iran: From Regional Challenge to Global Threat,” published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is authored by various experts who give their best assessment while looking at different aspects of Iran.  Everything you could want to know about the present political climate is covered, from Iran’s influence in Africa to the culture of its Revolutionary Guard to the recently discovered Iranian plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US.

One of my favorite chapters is on Iran’s Negotiating behavior by Dr. Harold Rhode, who discusses the Iranian mentality in international negotiations.  Noticing many of the crucial differences between Western and Iranian culture, Rhode claims that unlike in the US, Iranians see compromise as a “sign of weakness” and recommends that the US avoids goodwill gestures.  This is a must-have book for any researcher, student, or armchair expert on Iran.