Association of Former Intelligence Officers

ALLY TO ADVERSARY: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall From Grace, by Rick Francona, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Md (, 1999, ISBN 1-55750-281-1. The author, a retired Air Force intelligence officer and Middle East expert, was a witness to, and part of, the Middle East drama that involved the US in support of Iraq in its war against Iran, which was viewed as a dangerous militant Islamic specter threatening domination of the oil-rich Persian Gulf region. Thus Iraq became a US partner of convenience.

The author was deeply involved in the highly sensitive support the US gave to Iraq in 1987-88 during its war with Iran, gaining a unique perspective on its capabilities, including ballistic missiles and chemical weapons. Later, as General Schwartzkopf's Arabic interpreter, he was a front rank witness to a number of policy and strategy-making developments and issues during the Gulf War against Iraq. His book recounts the story of these adventures, providing a look inside the closed doors of US and international military decision-making in an area of highest interest to the US. Francona writes in a forthright and very readable fashion, weaving in anecdotes with policy perspectives and situation descriptions. His book contributes to understanding a recent past that is relevant to the present and future. Highly recommended reading - and "for sale with with autograph" at the AFIO 13 September luncheon at Fort Myer (See bulletin board below). (RoyJ)

Reviewed in AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #34-99, 27 August 1999

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