Israel in the Second Iraq War
The Influence of Likud
by Stephen C. Pelletière
November 2009, 134pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38230-7
$64, £48, 54€, A92
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38231-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Did Donald Rumsfeld model the Second Iraq War on Israel’s 1996 invasion of southern Lebanon? The similarities are striking: the overwhelming air power, limited ground forces, targeted attacks on infrastructure and few safeguards against civilian casualties mirror the war strategy of Israel’s Lukidist Party, which has played on increasing role in shaping Middle East policy in the United States since the Reagan era.

A former CIA analyst looks at nearly three decades of U.S. Middle East policy to examine the pervasive and too-often disastrous influence of Israel’s right wing Likud party.

In this revelatory volume, Stephen Pelletière, the CIA’s Iraq analyst in the 1980s, argues that not only did Rumsfeld’s plan for a quick, decisive military victory in Iraq reflect the ideas of Israel’s right-wing party, but that it exemplifies Lukid’s profound, little-understood, and at times disatrous influence on the United States’ Middle East policy for nearly three decades.

Israel in the Second Iraq War: The Influence of Likud describes U.S.-Israeli relations from the fall of the Shah—when President Reagan anointed the Israel as America’s surrogate in the Middle East—through a string of Mid-East policy fiascos, including the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal, and the ill-fated second Iraq War, which Likudniks in the Pentagon promoted and which produced the ongoing Iraqi resistance. The book also chronicles the growth of resistance movements including Hamas and Hezbollah, arguing that these are not part of a vast jihadi conspiracy, but are instead Arab attempts to stop land seizures by the Israelis and the Americans.


  • Includes a bibliography focusing on irregular warfare, the Arab-Israeli dispute, and America's involvement in Iraq going back to time of Reagan
  • Offers a comprehensive index
Stephen C. Pelletière, PhD, was the Central Intelligence Agency's lead analyst on Iraq throughout the 1980s. He subsequently was senior professor at the U.S. Army War College and director of research on the Middle East. This is his sixth book on Iraq, five of them for Praeger. Dr. Pelletière earned his PhD in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Middle East area studies. He studied Arabic at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Cairo, Egypt, and did his dissertation research on Egyptian Nationalism on a Fulbright in Cairo.


"Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals."—Choice, August 1, 2010

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