THE YOM KIPPUR WAR by Insight Team of the London Sunday Times


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In this extensive documentary attempt to unravel the military and political threads of the 1973 Mideast war, the Insight Team stumbles on a remarkable and unanswered contradiction: if the Arabs and Israelis were mere ""proxies in a struggle that, at bottom, has nothing to do with them,"" then why do the authors say the behind-the-scenes superpowers were taken wholly unawares by the Egyptian attack on October 6? Only thin explanations follow of how the highly competent Israeli intelligence apparatus was struck with temporary blindness, or how the American CIA and National Security Council fed ""misreadings"" to Israel. The book's strength is in the field of military analysis, including the significance of the new portable Russian anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, and the bureaucratic reasons why General Ismail failed to pursue victory in the Sinai. From there on, the insights can be left or taken: Nixon had ""unprecedented freedom of maneuver"" because he ""did not owe American Jewry a thing,"" and, more interestingly, the probability that Yassir Arafat's Hashemite state would permit heavier U.S. control of the Mideast. Contrasted with its fine military map, the Insight Team lacks a reading of the world financial interests involved in the war, specifically the ""petrodollar empire."" An evasive but intriguing book.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday