Gerd Nonneman, Iraq, the Gulf States and the War (London: Ithaca Press, 1986).

This all-too-succinct treatise covers a variety of important aspects of the Iran-Iraq war as it affects and is perceived by the Arab Gulf states. After capsule summaries of the factors behind the foreign policies of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the smaller emirates during the 1970s, Nonneman chronicles trends in Baghdad’s diplomatic relations with neighboring capitals in the 1980s. This account is at the same time too brief and too detailed. In 43 pages the author attempts to trace the most crucial changes that have taken place in the official policies of regional actors toward one another during the period from September 1980 to March 1986. He succeeds in indicating the diversity that has characterized the responses of different Gulf regimes to the war in general and to Iraq in particular. But the underlying dynamics that have shaped these patterns remain unexplored, as the volume moves on to describe economic cooperation between Iraq and the Gulf states in the course of the war. Nonneman suggests that these ties will preclude a return to a more radical foreign policy on Iraq’s part once the war comes to an end. His study provides much of the necessary data but little of the requisite argumentation for this thesis.

How to cite this article:

Fred H. Lawson "Nonneman, Iraq, the Gulf States and the War," Middle East Report 148 (September/October 1987).

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