You’ve written a remarkable book. It’s original in treating the Middle East and surrounding regions as unitary in American strategic thinking since 1980......To my knowledge, no one has treated the past 36 years as a single phenomenon. Am I wrong?
No, I think you’re
correct. One of the aims of the book is to persuade Americans, persuade
readers, that to consider U.S. military involvement in this part of the
world as “one damn thing after another” is to miss the true significance
of what we have been attempting to do and to misapprehend the scope of
our failure. It’s a problem in our politics to focus on the most recent
episode, the ongoing episode, and to ignore everything that came before.