The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran

The Twilight War The Secret History of America s Thirty Year Conflict with Iran The dramatic secret history of our undeclared thirty year conflict with Iran revealing newsbreaking episodes of covert and deadly operations that brought the two nations to the brink of open warFor t

  • Title: The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran
  • Author: David Crist
  • ISBN: 9781594203411
  • Page: 223
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The dramatic secret history of our undeclared thirty year conflict with Iran, revealing newsbreaking episodes of covert and deadly operations that brought the two nations to the brink of open warFor three decades, the United States and Iran have engaged in a secret war It is a conflict that has never been acknowledged and a story that has never been told.This surreptitiouThe dramatic secret history of our undeclared thirty year conflict with Iran, revealing newsbreaking episodes of covert and deadly operations that brought the two nations to the brink of open warFor three decades, the United States and Iran have engaged in a secret war It is a conflict that has never been acknowledged and a story that has never been told.This surreptitious war began with the Iranian revolution and simmers today inside Iraq and in the Persian Gulf Fights rage in the shadows, between the CIA and its network of spies and Iran s intelligence agency Battles are fought at sea with Iranians in small speedboats attacking Western oil tankers This conflict has frustrated five American presidents, divided administrations, and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare It is a story of shocking miscalculations, bitter debates, hidden casualties, boldness, and betrayal.A senior historian for the federal government with unparalleled access to senior officials and key documents of several U.S administrations, Crist has spent than ten years researching and writing The Twilight War, and he breaks new ground on virtually every page Crist describes the series of secret negotiations between Iran and the United States after 9 11, culminating in Iran s proposal for a grand bargain for peace which the Bush administration turned down He documents the clandestine counterattack Iran launched after America s 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which thousands of soldiers disguised as reporters, tourists, pilgrims, and aid workers toiled to change the government in Baghdad and undercut American attempts to pacify the Iraqi insurgency And he reveals in vivid detail for the first time a number of important stories of military and intelligence operations by both sides, both successes and failures, and their typically unexpected consequences.Much has changed in the world since 1979, but Iran and America remain each other s biggest national security nightmares The Iran problem is a razor sharp briar patch that has claimed its sixth presidential victim in Barack Obama and his administration The Twilight War adds vital new depth to our understanding of this acute dilemma it is also a thrillingly engrossing read, animated by a healthy irony about human failings in the fog of not quite war.

    One thought on “The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran”

    1. What We Didn't Know About the U.S. Relationship With IranIf you were among those who sighed with relief when Barack Obama was reelected because you’d been concerned that a Republican administration would invade Iran, David Crist has news for you. In fact, The Twilight War is full of surprises, even for one who stays relatively well informed about world affairs. The underlying message — the meta-message, if you’ll permit that conceit — is that what we normally consume on a daily basis as [...]

    2. If there is anything like a primarily ideological adversary to modern US foreign policy, it is violent religious fundamentalism. This is most typified in their stormy relationship with Iran. They once were a bulwark ally in the region (after we propped the Shah up with a coup) but now we are each other's boogeymen. Here, Crist makes an incisive history of our complex and stormy confrontations.Carter, we know, had a disastrous time. But Reagan made his share of mistakes, too. Most notably Iran-Co [...]

    3. I commend Dr Crist for the incredible level of detail he offers in this book made for great reading! Additionally, I very much appreciate his position (highlighted constantly throughout the book) that this "twilight war" is the fault of BOTH sides and will only be fixed if both sides set aside years of acrimony and distrust. However, I do feel that Dr Crist rushed the portion covering the Obama presidency. I would've enjoyed reading more about the attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador, [...]

    4. I have followed US-Iranian relations for over forty years and David Crist's work is the best that I have come across. It is a maticuously researched book that explores most diplomatic and military aspects of the American-Iranian relationship since the decline of the Shah and his overthrow in 1979. Crist explores the role of all the major players during the period and he raises important questions as to whether the deterioration of Washington's relationship with Teheran could have been avoided ar [...]

    5. The United States and Iran have been bitter enemies since the Iranian takeover of the American embassy in 1979. Few Americas are aware of how bitter the enmity has been. David Crist’s important new book, subtitled "The Secret History of America’s Thirty –Year Conflict with Iran," outlines the origins and background of the conflict and details the numerous military confrontations that have brought us to the brink of outright war several times. Crist is a Marine colonel whose father was a fo [...]

    6. Perhaps those currently hankering for a war with Iran, will be glad to know that one has been going on for quite some time. I'm fascinated by Iran for a number of reasons (its non-Arabic position in the middle east, the dual levels of existence as shown in Marjane Satrapi's graphic novels, source of amazing cinema and so on).But mostly I fear these days that Iran is being bandied about as the USA's next foe to be most feared. Sort of the way the USSR was long ago. Ultimately I feel that most ear [...]

    7. This book could have been titled “Trapped by History with No Way Out” because it shows each side has compelling reasons for its actions. The author presents a balanced account from the Iranian revolution of 1979 to 2012 so it covers a lot of ground. It provides much behind the scenes information including the spy wars, the naval war in the gulf, and intra-governmental conflicts. It shows how both sides had their share of “rogue commanders” and it shows how various peace initiatives from [...]

    8. A very detailed account of the United States and Iran proxy war that has been going on for over 30 years. I remember talking to some of the trainers in Iraq grumping about all the Iranians stirring up problems with their training programs. The story begins with the fall of the Shah and the rise of the Islamic Republic. CIA operatives attempted to get the hostages out while a rescue mission failed disastrously in the desert. Next was Lebanon and our backing of the Christian militias against the S [...]

    9. This history is a very good and detailed summary of key clashes and other interactions between Iran and the US since the 1979 revolution. According to the author, the work began as a dissertation of the relations between the two countries during the Reagan presidency. There are some excellent retellings of events, the USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS crew's heroic struggle to save their ship, and some of the special ops actions during the same tanker war. The trouble I have with the book are the almost cart [...]

    10. Very interesting book written by the son of one of the major players, who himself has decades of experience in the region. What struck me as one of the defining moments (and there are many) in the relationship between Iran and the US was when, after Iran had deceived the US on trading weapons for hostages (see Iran/Contra), the US reneged on a different deal after the Iranians had delivered on their end. Sure, the US could say it was justified because of the previous deceptions, but it showed th [...]

    11. The first half of this book is really strong. The narrative thread of the Iranian Revolution, The Hostage crisis , The Iran/Iraq war , Iran's involvement in terror in Lebanon, early skirmishes in the Persian Gulf and finally Iran-Contra. After that I found the story a little hard to follow. Their were a lot of tit for tat hits back and forth between U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf and the Iranians in the late 80s and 90s which could have escalated. Their is the gulf war and foreign sponsored Hez [...]

    12. An outstanding history of a very, VERY complicated relationship between Iran and the U.S. David Crist, son of General George Crist (Ret.), has written an amazing accounting of both military and diplomatic events that have taken place between these two countries over the last 30 years. So much misunderstanding, wrong-headed decisions, and miscommunications between both countries over many years are brought to light in this book. This book is required reading to all who have an interest in the Mid [...]

    13. 4.5 stars - 4 for the reading / writing, and another half star for the sheer amount information this book contains and the overall novelty of the topic. Appreciate the ending notes about how the book came together and which sources were used. Given the difficulty in obtaining information from Middle East archives, the author's determination in working to meet with as many Iranian / Middle Eastern officials who were involved in some of the events described in the book as possible is praiseworthy. [...]

    14. An excellent scholarly and even-handed account of US-Iran relations since the 1970s, with most emphasis on Reagan years. Critical of both sides, and especially poor decisions by the Americans, it also covers military actions undertaken by both sides (and covert ones as well) as Iran struggled with Iraq and to gain hegemony in the region, with the US protecting its intewests and that of its local allies. Some of his research came as a surprise to me and I learned quite a bit. This would be requir [...]

    15. Timing is everything - since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 every time one side has leaned forward to create a new relationship the other has not responded. The extensive volume portrays the "almost war" that has existed between these tow nations but also share the complexity of each nation's polity. I also appreciated how Crist shared how little we know about political struggles within the Islamic Republic. A must-read for foreign affairs fans, it dhows how complex the world really is - and how [...]

    16. An awesome modern history of the troubled relationship between Iran and the United States. As a US citizen the lack of common knowledge on these many events troubles me. The animosity of these two nations could have been put to bed long ago if not for arrogance. A great read for anyone with an interest.

    17. Outstanding in-depth history of US-Iranian relations since the fall do the Shah. Best I've read yet. We forget how many violent interactions there have been between our two states, especially in the 1980's and 1990's. This is one of those rare "must reads" to understand the animus and conflict that exists between us. And just how committed and dangerous the Iranian regime truly is.

    18. Awesome and detailed history of 30 plus years of a low level conflict between the U.S. and Iranting to read about how we essentially have been talking past eachother for 30 years, and how internal politics in both Iran and the U.S. prevent constructive relations between the two nations

    19. I recently received a review copy, and about halfway through: well done---a little too political in places, but overall an excellent history of our relationship with Iran since 1979.

    20. This is an excellent overview of 30 years of under the surface animosity and aggression between Iran and the United States. The author isn't a stuffy academic, but someone who has both been in the middle east as a US Marine officer and has a PhD in the history of the region. My take is the book is an outgrowth of his thesis about the issues between the two countries.It is also helps that the author's father was the Marine Corp General who was tasked with the first tour at CENTCOM. Here the book [...]

    21. An excellent book on the US-Iranian relations since 1979. The book begins with the fallout of Iranian Revolution in 1979 where American policymakers are caught totally unprepared for the Pahlavi regime's quick collapse. David Crist goes on to explain how much of American policy during the 1980s is then driven by a fundamental misunderstanding of the Soviet intentions in the Middle East leading to an expansion of American policy in the region primarily by CENTCOM & the IC. Where the book real [...]

    22. In the presidential campaign of 2008, John McCain made plain what kind of aggressive foreign policy he would pursue by half-singing a chipper little ditty called “Bomb Iran”, to the tune of the Beach Boys classic, “Barbara Ann”. His malice was not even creative, for the song originated as a parody in early 1980. That parody, though, was close to being reality, for throughout the 1980s. American ships engaged in a quasi-war against Iran, ostensibly to protect the free flow of oil amid the [...]

    23. A long book but worth it. I have lived through the 30+ years described in this story of the "secret and not so secret wars" with Iran since the revolution.I remembered ( vaguely) some of the incidents but was really unaware of the deeper implications and nuances of our relationship with the Islamic republic, the Middle East and our European allies

    24. كتاب لتاريخ الصراع الامريكي الايراني منذ قيام ثوره الخمينيالكتاب يقدم تفصيليه للمواقف الامريكيه اتجاه الاحداث الايزانيه و احداث الخليج المتعلقه بمصالح ايران و الولايات المتحدةاورد فيه كم كبير من النقاشات العسكريه و السياسيه داخل الادارات الامريكيه المتعاقبه خلال الثلاث [...]

    25. One of the best foreign policy books I have read. Does not mince words or criticism but is also well balanced and even handed.

    26. This is an excellent and detailed (sometimes to a fault) account of the decades long tensions between the US and Iran. Despite being engaging, it took me a while to read perhaps because of the frustration of seeing the dangerous results of missteps on both sides caused by dogmatism.

    27. When I heard that David Crist was a senior historian for the federal government and an advisor to government officials on the Middle East, I was slightly concerned because one is never sure whether or not someone has a political agenda. While, I can't determine anyone's political leanings, David Crist has written a painstakingly thorough and detailed history on the thirty year conflict with Iran. Although every president from Carter to Obama is covered, wide swathes of the book are dedicated to [...]

    28. The Twilight War is a very detailed and informative book on the Iran/ United States secretive conflict that has been going on since 1979. That year an Islamic Revolution occurred and the US had been supporters of the Shah who had been a great buffer in the Middle East against the Soviet Union. There had never been an Islamic Republic before and the US still thought in terms of Soviets and the US. While trying to be friendly to the new republic, President Carter allowed the Shah to enter the US f [...]

    29. I dare anyone to walk into a mall, stop 10 people, and ask them the capital of Iran. You may even ask them to point to Iran on a map. I would be surprised if more than two people were able to do either thing. Sadly, I wouldn't be surprised if none of them could. Think it's just a problem with Iran. Do the same thing for Syria, Egypt, or for that matter Germany. You will more than likely get the same results. The idea of most Americans not being able to answer those questions, scares the hell out [...]

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