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Reconstructing a Shattered Egyptian Army: War Minister Gen. Mohamad Fawzi's Memoirs, 1967-1971by Edited By Youssef H. Aboul-enein.
Synopses & Reviews
Central to CDR Youssef Aboul-Enein's career has been the mission to introduce America's military leaders to Arabic works of military significance. Just like American military leaders who had an obsession for all things Russian during the Cold War in order to understand the Soviets, the war on al-Qaida and the complex nuances of the Arab Spring demand a deeper comprehension of the Middle East from direct sources. The memoirs of General Mohamed Fawzi, Egyptian War Minister from 1967 to 1971, were first published in 1984, but his work has not ben translated and remains undiscovered by English speaking readers. Many in the United States Armed Services have yet to be introduced to his ideas, perspectives, and the seeds by which the 1973 Yom-Kippur War were laid. In this new contribution to his series of essays written for Infantry Journal, Aboul-Enein has determined to bring to life the military thoughts of this Arab War Minister. This book is a joint Infantry-Naval Institute Press project that has condensed the entire collection of essays on Fawzi to a single volume, to provide future generations of America's military leaders with access his ideas. Fawzi is unique among Arab generals for his scathing critique of his own armed forces, and from his critical examination of what went wrong in 1967, he was able to slowly resurrect the Egyptian Armed Forces to a level that enabled Sadat to consider an offensive in 1973. This Egyptian general will provide insights into the level of Soviet cooperation and military aid provided Egypt after the 1967 Six-Day War, known simply in Arabic by one word, al-Naksah (the setback), not to be confused with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War known by one word, al-Nakbah (the catastrophe). While Fawzi lapses into conspiracy, indulges in wishful thinking, and employs the language of pan-Arabism on occasion, much like Soviet military theorists couched their ideas in Marxist-Leninist rhetoric, this will not stop serious American students of war from recognizing his brilliance about the lessons learned from the crushing defeat of Egyptian arms in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The memoirs of Gen. Mohamed Fawzi, Egyptian War Minister from 1967 to 1971, were first published in 1984, but his work has not been translated from Arabic and remains undiscovered by most English speaking readers. Many in the U.S. armed services have yet to be introduced to his ideas, perspectives, and the tactical, operational and strategic seeds by which the 1973 Yom-Kippur War were sown. In this new contribution to his series of essays originally written for the U.S. Army's Infantry Journal, Aboul-Enein is determined to bring to life the military thoughts of this Arab war minister as part of his mission to introduce America's military leaders to Arabic works of military significance.
Sun Tzu admonishes his readers to know their enemies, and Aboul-Enein (an American naval officer and established scholar whose personal and professional background gives him a unique vantage point) makes a significant contribution to that aim through this and his previous works. Fawzi is unique among Arab generals for his scathing critique of his own armed forces, and from his critical examination of what went wrong in 1967 he was able to bring the Egyptian armed forces back to a level that enabled Sadat to consider an offensive in 1973. Fawzi provides insights into the level of Soviet cooperation and military aid provided to Egypt after the 1967 Six-Day War, known simply in Arabic as al-Naksah (the setback), not to be confused with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War known as al-Nakbah (the catastrophe). Despite occasional lapses into conspiracy theories, wishful thinking, and the language of pan-Arabism, Fawzi's work is an astute analysis of the lessons learned from Egypt's crushing defeat in the Six-Day War. This book is a warning never to underestimate a defeated army's intellectual ability to innovate new tactics and strategies, leading to a resumption of conflict.
About the Author
Youssef H. Aboul-Enein is a U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps Commander, Middle East Foreign Area Officer, and is author of Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat, Iraq in Turmoil: Historical Perspectives of Dr. Ali al-Wardi from the Ottoman Empire to King Feisal, and co-author of The Secret War for the Middle East: The Influence of Axis and Allied Intelligence Operations During World War II, all published by Naval Institute Press. He currently is Adjunct Islamic Studies Chair at the National Defense University's Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy as well as Adjunct Faculty for Middle East Counter Terrorism Analysis at the National Intelligence University. His full-time duty since 2006 has been as Senior Counter-Terrorism Advisor, Warning Officer, and Instructor on Militant Islamist Ideology at the Defense Intelligence Agency's Defense Combating Terrorism Center in Washington DC. CDR Aboul-Enein served as Country Director for North Africa and Egypt, Assistant Country Director for the Arabian Gulf, and Special Advisor on Islamist Militancy at the Office of the Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs from 2002 to 2006. At the Office of the Secretary of Defense, he helped prepare Defense Department officials engage in ministerial level talks with their counterparts from Morocco to the Persian Gulf.
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