The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars

The United States in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts

by Spencer C. Tucker, Editor
Priscilla Mary Roberts, Editor, Documents Volume


Just as the Cold War colored global relations in the last half of the 20th century, developments in the Middle East and the proliferation of terrorism are coloring global relations during the opening years of the 21st century. A knowledge of these issues is critically important to understanding both the cultural clashes between East and West and U.S. military, diplomatic, and national security policy in the new millennium.

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Cover image for The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars

October 2010


Pages 1887
Volumes 5
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars
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This in-depth study of U.S. involvement in the modern Middle East carefully weighs the interplay of domestic, cultural, religious, diplomatic, international, and military events in one of the world's most troubled regions.

The monumental, five-volume The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars: The United States in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts is a must-have resource for anyone seeking to comprehend U.S. actions in this volatile region. Under the expert editorship of Spencer C. Tucker, the encyclopedia traces 20th- and 21st-century U.S. involvement in the Middle East and south-central Asia, concentrating on the last three decades. Beginning with the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, it covers the 1979–1989 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the 1991 Persian Gulf War, allied punitive actions against Iraq during the 1990s, the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War, and the Global War on Terror.

Many smaller military actions against Iran, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and other regimes that have been involved in international terrorism are also included. Diplomacy, religion as it pertains to Middle East conflict, and social/cultural developments are other key subjects of analysis, as is the interplay of politics with military policy in the United States and other nations involved in the region.


  • Hundreds of alphabetically organized entries on wars, political events, religious and cultural issues, and diplomatic initiatives, as well as in-depth essays on background material, area and regional analyses, and biographical entries
  • An introduction by General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret), former commander in chief of U.S. Central Command
  • A chronologically arranged final volume comprised of primary and contemporary documents with individual introductions
  • A detailed chronology of events
  • Cross-references and books for further reading appended to each entry
  • A bibliography of over 450 books that are the latest in the field


  • Offers comprehensive coverage detailing social, cultural, religious, political, and military aspects of the Middle East wars
  • Includes recent conflicts such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Analyzes events from a global, multidisciplinary perspective
  • Offers the insights of contributors who are specialists in Middle East affairs and high-level military personnel who had a hand in setting Middle East policy
Author Info

Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and was a Fulbright scholar in France. He was a U.S. Army captain and intelligence analyst in the Pentagon during the Vietnam War, then taught for 30 years at Texas Christian University before returning to his alma mater for 6 years as the holder of the John Biggs Chair of Military History. He retired from teaching in 2003. He is now senior fellow of military history at ABC-CLIO. Tucker has written or edited 36 books, including ABC-CLIO's award-winning The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict and The Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars, as well as the comprehensive A Global Chronology of Conflict.



"An essential resource for anyone seeking detailed information and in-depth reading on U.S. actions and involvement in the Middle East region during the last 15 years. Highly recommended for public, school, and college libraries."Library Journal, Starred Review

"The total work is highly recommended as a solid resource for public and academic libraries and some high schools. . . . This well-organized encyclopedia would provide advanced students with a solid introduction to topics that are in the news almost every day."Booklist

"This work deserves a spot in all reference collections on the Middle East. . . . Highly recommended."Choice


Booklist Editors' Choice 2011 — ALA

Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2011 — Choice

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