Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy

Unthinkable Iran the Bomb and American Strategy The world s foremost expert on Middle Eastern relations examines Iran s current nuclear potential and charts America s future course of action How close are we to a nuclear Iran What does it mean for

  • Title: Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy
  • Author: Kenneth Pollack
  • ISBN: 9781476733920
  • Page: 301
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The world s foremost expert on Middle Eastern relations examines Iran s current nuclear potential and charts America s future course of action.How close are we to a nuclear Iran What does it mean for American foreign policy How did we get to this point And what do we do now In Unthinkable, Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst with twenty five years of experience workiThe world s foremost expert on Middle Eastern relations examines Iran s current nuclear potential and charts America s future course of action.How close are we to a nuclear Iran What does it mean for American foreign policy How did we get to this point And what do we do now In Unthinkable, Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst with twenty five years of experience working on the Middle East, explores America s intractable problem with Iran, Tehran s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, and the pro longed clash that led us to this point Pollack lays out key solutions to the Iran nuclear ques tion, explaining and assessing the options for American policymakers Redoubling our efforts at a carrot and stick approach that combines negotiations and sanctions Aiding the Iranian opposition to bring about a popular form of regime change An Israeli military strike The American military option Containing a nuclear Iran Insightful, powerful, and balanced in its approach, Unthinkable is one of the most thought ful and important books on foreign policy in the past decade.

    One thought on “Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy”

    1. Unthinkable: Iran, the bomb, and American Strategy by Kenneth Pollack is an investigation into the American and Iranian relationship and possible plans of action. Kenneth Pollack earned a BA from Yale and a PhD from MIT. From 1988 through 1995 he was an analyst on Iraqi and Iranian military issues for the CIA. In 1999, he rejoined the National Security Council and has served as a professor at the National Defense University. Outside of the government Pollack work for the Brookings Institution an [...]

    2. Reading this 4 years after this was published and 3 and 1/2 years after the Iran Nuclear deal was signed, I think that Mr. Pollack laid down a thorough and well researched position on how to deal with Iran and their nuclear weapons capability. The problem that come from this book is that some of the chapters and policy he lays out is way to long and way too repetitive.I understand that he has points that he wants to hammer home, but each chapter gives us the same ideas and the same things to try [...]

    3. The single biggest strength of the book is its clear and insightful analysis. Pollack takes care to frame the true nature of the Iranian nuclear problem, dispelling misconceptions and calming hyperbole at the same time. I found four insights he makes in this process particularly noteworthy.(1) Iran is operating from a weakened, defensive position: economically sanctioned, diplomatically isolated, politically divided internally, militarily threatened by Israel and the United States. (p. 65)(2) Th [...]

    4. In this well-written volume, Pollack examines the state of US-Iranian relations and how trust has been almost completely destroyed by Iranian support for terrorism and Western rhetoric. While US and Israeli policymakers continue to mull over the possibility of a pre-emptive strike against Iranian facilities, Pollack points out that an Israeli first strike would only be possible with US support, that it would probably be only a temporary setback for Iran, and that such action may possibly start a [...]

    5. 3.5 stars (4 stars for content, 3 stars for overall readability)Mr. Pollack has presented a thorough, informative and generally readable account of America's options with dealing with the Iranian nuclear program. While Mr. Pollack has a past reputation as a hawkish analyst, his book endorses the containment strategy that the Obama administration is pursuing while spelling out the advantages and disadvantages of it (as well as Israeli or American air/ground incursions). Mr. Pollack does very well [...]

    6. I probably would have appreciated this book a lot more if I had read it when it came out instead of 2 years later. A lot has happened in those two years which made me question some of the authors assumptions in the first half of the book - ie Rouhani leading Iran, the fall of the Arab spring, the rise of ISIS, and now the collapse of Yemen - all instances where Iran has become a stronger, not a weaker force. However, despite this and despite the fact that I found the first half to two thirds inc [...]

    7. This book is written by in "insider" a former CIA guy and government official of a conservative bent. In other words Iran is the bad guy and the USA is the good guy. For the most part the author begins his argument against Iran with the 1979 overthrow of the Shah, who was just about as bad as Saddam Husayn as a dictator, and for the most part ignores or downplays the overthrow by the CIA and MI6 of the legitimate, if not liked, government of Mosaddeq, which was the real start of problems between [...]

    8. Very interesting book that could also be used to understand the current strategy (or lack thereof) of the United States against Syria. Of course they are absolutely competent to write about any criticism of what was stated by the author, since he was a political consultant and I read lovestories.Libro molto interessante che potrebbe anche essere usato per comprendere l'attuale strategia (o assenza della stessa) degli Stati Uniti nei confronti della Siria. Naturalmente non sono assolutamente comp [...]

    9. I received this book through First Reads. Before reading this, my knowledge of Iran and the situation in the Middle East concerning nuclear weapons was minimal at best. Pollack's book clarified and explained explicitly the situation and the American options to deal with the situation. He mentions the hysteria that surrounds the Middle East and that surrounds our possible approaches. I was impressed to find that he does not engage in any of such hysteria. All his points are relatively unbiased a [...]

    10. 4 stars based mainly on the quality of the author’s analysis of American options and the historical sections of the book. (The primary factor in my ratings is typically how much I enjoyed reading a book.) There were a few times I read a page or two and was completely blank on what I had just read. And re-reading didn’t help.As the days and weeks pass I’m sure I’ll recall very little about the book’s particulars but I’ll remember the author as a first-rate analyst (and be comforted by [...]

    11. Great readally good primer on the pros and cons of various arguments for dealing with a nuclear Iran. Pollack, a former professor of mine, does a thorough job of objectively analyzing each option before then making a cogent argument of his own. Although I naturally do not agree with everything, this book has helped to challenge some of my own thinking on the issue and has prompted me to reconsider other perspectives. I am interested to read Pollack's thoughts on the latest nuclear developments, [...]

    12. "An analysis of Iran's foreign policy with special reference to its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. Written by a Middle Eastern expert, Kenneth Pollack, who has extensive governmental experience in Middle East Affairs and a long record as a scholar writing on Middle Eastern Affairs." - Kenneth W. Dam

    13. I recieved a copy of this book through Giveaways. I give it 4 stars because it is very well written, and his arguments always had facts to back it up. Very good book for people interested in foreign politics.

    14. Impressive and thorough, but ultimately repetitive. I appreciated Pollack's effort to present other view points fairly.

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