Civil-Military Relations in the Modern Middle East explores the political and economic interactions between civilians and the armed forces in the post-World War II Middle East, emphasizing four themes: military and society, the role of the military in political transitions, the military’s part in national economies, and the relations between soldiers and civilians in wartime. Covering the greater Middle East—including the Arab States, Israel, Turkey, and Iran—the book establishes how militaries in many Middle Eastern countries influence the national political and economic systems and how, in turn, politics influences the national militaries.
David S. Sorenson is professor of international security studies at Air War College.
Notes on Transliteration
2 The Military and Society in the Middle East
3 The Civil-Military Relations of Middle East Political Transitions
4 The Political Economy of Middle East Civil-Military Relations
5 Middle East Civil-Military Relations: The Military Dimensions
6 Conclusions and Projections
About the Author
David Sorenson contributes enormously to our understanding of civil-military relations with this ambitious comparative analysis of a diverse set of Middle Eastern countries. He mines insights from the existing literature while establishing persuasively that applications to the Middle East also require sensitivity to conditions and relationships that exempt the region from global regularities and trends. Written against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, civil war in Syria, and challenges from Iran, this book is a must-read for perspective on the politics and conflicts of a turbulent region in which the military has long played an outsized role in national politics, economics, and society.
David Sorenson’s masterful account of civil-military relations in the Middle East stands out for both its breadth and ambition. It covers both a wide range of countries and aspects of civil-military relations in a way that really demonstrates the policy relevance of the topic. Noteworthy is the expansive understanding of civil-military relations, one that goes beyond coups to look at the relationship between the military and society, the military’s influence on the economy, and the role the military plays in setting national security policy. This book illustrates that one cannot fully understand the politics of the region without completely taking into account the role played by the military and other security actors.
David Sorenson’s sweeping study of Middle Eastern civil-military relations encompasses the entirety of his life-long study of the region. His comprehensive treatment considers civil-military relations in terms of armed forces and society relations, militaries’ roles in power transitions, competing civil-military interests in the national economy, and wartime civil-military relations. Sorenson not only fills a void in the civil-military-relations theory in the Middle East, but his global application of a broad framework comprised of political factors, tradition, and the formation of militaries’ identities also makes this book essential reading in all comparative civil-military relations courses. This highly readable text takes you inside the mind and classroom of a storied war college professor with unparalleled expertise in the region.