In Arabs at War, Council Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack delivers the first-ever unclassified record of the post-World War II military histories of six key Arab states: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. This insightful overview of the modern Arab approach to warfare provides a comprehensive understanding of the military capabilities and limitations of the Arab states, some of which are the United States' most important allies, while others may likely be future adversaries.
Pollack focuses on the Arab armies, illuminating the persistent problems they have encountered on the battlefield. He shows in detail how each Arab military learned from its experiences and responded to the specific objectives set for it, often in the face of constrained political, economic, and social circumstances. His analysis reveals that Arab militaries' main weaknesses—tactical leadership, information management, and technical skills—leave them ill-prepared for an age of warfare that rewards decentralized command, innovative tactical leadership, accurate information, and advanced weaponry.
A Council on Foreign Relations Book