Iran and Strategic Power Projection: The Iran-Iraq War as a Foundation of Understanding
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Iran and Strategic Power Projection: The Iran-Iraq War as a Foundation of Understanding

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Darric M. Knight
246x189x4 mm

This effort attempts to provide the reader with an understanding of the dynamics and rational context for Iranian Strategic power projection in the 21st century. Using the Iran-Iraq War as a lens through which to examine Iran during a stressing conventional conflict, the research illustrates a number of characteristics and trends still representative of the regime today. The monograph first defines terms of reference, introduces a variation of the DIME methodology, posits Iranian strategic objectives and provides the requisite cultural and historical background to highlight traits, characteristics and beliefs germane to the argument. The introduction of religion into the DIME construct for understanding the elements of national power and their employment is critical to this argument. In Muslim nations, particularly Iran, Islam is thoroughly ingrained in diplomatic/political, information, military and economic power while also a separate, valid element of national power. A discussion of four broad based strategic objectives follows. Of note, Islamic legitimacy is posited as a strategic objective. This concept is one of many that make Iran unique and forces the Western-influenced geopolitical thinker to re-evaluate his perspectives when dealing with Muslim countries in general and Iran in particular. The cultural and historical background provides a number of topics relevant to Iranian strategic power projection to include geopolitical history, economics, religion and the revolution. From this foundation, the monograph moves to some specific events in the Iran-Iraq War. The monograph examines the Iran-Iraq War through three events, the 1982 decision to conduct the counteroffensive into Iraq, the arms-for-hostages affair and the 1986 Fao offensive. Through these three events, the reader discovers the effects of factional internal politics, Islamic revolutionary diplomacy and the use of Islam as a tool of power projection. Showing the impact of these events on the war,

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