With Friends Like These: Reagan, Bush, and Saddam 1982-1990

"The enemy of my enemy", as the age-old axiom goes, "is my friend". Such was the reasoning behind US strategy when the Reagan administration first tilted towards Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and was continued by the Bush administration up to the very eve of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, when the enemy of my enemy proved that he too could be my enemy. This analysis of US-Iraqi relations confronts such questions as: how and why the Reagan-Bush strategy of bringing Saddam into the "family of nations" failed so profoundly; why didn't Iraq moderate its behaviour?; and why didn't America increase its influence? Despite the military success of the Gulf War there are important lessons to be learned about why the war occurred. Drawing on scores of declassified documents, revealing interviews and hearings held by the US Congress, this text provides a detailed and incisive account of US policy towards Iraq in those crucial years before the Gulf War.