The first half of the book lays the ground for the main topic, up to the adoption of the Tanker War strategy in 1984. It introduces the newly established regimes in Baghdad and Tehran, and discusses the reasons behind Saddam Hussein’s decision to wage war on Iraq’s neighbour to the east. It also furnishes a geopolitical account of the period preceding the Iran-Iraq War, a geographical and geostrategic description of the Gulf, a precis of earlier foreign power involvement in the area, and an overview of the first four years of the conflict. The second half interprets the reasons behind the naval arms race between the Gulf countries, explains Iraq’s rationale for the adoption of the Tanker War strategy, reports on its start and progression, describes Iran’s counterattacks, and details the process of negotiations on the re-flagging of Kuwaiti tankers and its political and military evolution. This chain of events resulted in the enlargement of foreign fleets in the Gulf, ultimately leading to skirmishes between Iranian and USN units, with spiralling clashes, starting from August 1987, and Tehran’s acceptance of UNSCR 598.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Empirical Survey Mistaken Identity Tanker Cargo Explosive Ordnance Disposal
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