A “stinging indictment” of US foreign policy and covert operations in the Middle East from a former military attaché and CIA operative (The Christian Science Monitor).
After the close of World War II, former army intelligence agent Wilbur Crane Eveland trained as a military attaché, specializing in the new focal point of global concern: the Middle East. In the decades that followed, he personally witnessed the evolution and many blunders of American Middle East policy from embassies of Arab states, inside the Pentagon and the White House, and as a principal CIA representative in the region. Finally, as a petroleum-engineering consultant, he lived with the results of America’s errors.
In Ropes of Sand, Eveland delivers a richly detailed assessment of the mistakes, miscalculations, and outright failures he observed. The governments the United States armed to defend the Middle East against Russia ended in collapse. American support of the Shah of Iran led to disastrous results. Many of the major crises the US faced, from the energy shortage to the border issues of Israel, had been forecast decades earlier. Eveland explains the country’s failure to understand these problems and shows why every proposed solution, from the United Nations Partition Resolution for Palestine to the Camp David Accords, only added fuel to the fire. His insider critique is essential for understanding the Arab Spring, the threat of ISIS, and the ongoing conflicts we face in the region today.
First released in 1980, this memoir was initially blocked from publication by the CIA for its revealing and critical discussion of numerous covert operations, some of which Eveland engaged in himself.