Men and Arms in the Middle East
The Human Factor in Military Modernization
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Assesses the contributions of improvement in manpower and organization quality to military effectiveness of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, plus Iran and Turkey. The Israeli advantage in past wars stemmed from manpower and management superiority. The Arab states are changing their outlooks and are receiving substantial military training and advice along with imported weapons. But efforts so far have not overcome the cultural factors that inhibit modernization. Authoritarian behavior patterns, rote education methods, and concern for "face" inhibit delegation of authority and innovative problem-solving. Some countries have shortages of skilled and trainable workers. Although there is evidence of a slow closing of the Arab-Israeli gap in individual level competence, proliferation of untried weapons and molecularization of the battlefield will probably escalate requirements in the organizational and managerial qualities affecting fighting units. No gap-closing between Arabs and Israel is perceptible at that level. Differences in comparative modernization rates may be more significant for other Middle Eastern balances.
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