The Gulf War: The Origins and Implications of the Iraq-Iran Conflict
“Why has this war, it may be asked, proved so difficult to control and bring to an end…? Is it really a conflict about frontiers and territorial sovereignty, as it has been dealt with by diplomats at international councils, or the projection of an urge on the part of one country or the other for domination over a region potentially rich in oil and strategically vital in any possible conflagration in which the major powers of the world might be involved? Are the confessional (sectarian) divisions in Islam, to which the majority of the people of the region belong, the root cause of the conflict, or are they merely the rationalization of deeper historical events and traditions which consciously or unconsciously prompted rival rulers to engage in competition and conflict? How much should the foreign powers, let alone the super powers, get involved in this conflict, and has their involvement aggravated or reduced the dimensions of the conflict?”
Majid Khadduri is University Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He is the founder and former director of the Center for Middle East Studies, and the author of more than two dozen books (in English and Arabic) on the Middle East.