Immortal: A Military History of Iran and its Armed Forces
Steven R. Ward. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009. 361 pp. Notes. Bib. $29.95.
Reviewed by Colonel Norvell B. De Atkine, U.S. Army (Retired)
This is not only a timely book, and one that fills a gap of information and analysis on the Iranian military, but it also cogently argues that policy makers involved with the Middle East take a cautious
approach to Iran. Warnings are germane to those who contemplate military means of subduing the expansionist policies of the Iranians, as well as to those who advocate a simple meeting of the minds between Western leaders and the militarized clerical leadership of Iran.
The book's title refers to the royal guard and elite warriors of the Old Persian Empire, a unit that was destroyed in the Khomeini revolution.
Ward deftly traces the history of the Iranian military from the time of the Achaemenids to the bloody Iran-Iraq war with an analysis of the Iranian armed forces in the 21st century.