H-Diplo Article Review 766 on “Jimmy Carter and the Sale of the AWACS to Iran in 1977.”

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Article Review

No. 766

10 May 2018




Article Review Editors: Thomas Maddux and Diane Labrosse
Web and Production Editor: George Fujii


Steven McGlinchey and Robert W. Murray.  “Jimmy Carter and the Sale of the AWACS to Iran in 1977.”  Diplomacy & Statecraft 28:2 (2017):  254-276.  DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/09592296.2017.1309883.


URL: http://tiny.cc/AR766


Review by Alexandros Koutsoukis, Aberystwyth University




The article under review by Steven McGlinchey and Robert Murray is a penetrating historical study of an under-researched aspect of United States foreign relations: the relationship between President Jimmy Carter and the Shah of Iran. It sheds light on the type of research questions that historians and international relations theorists often confront, and even more often, disagree about, namely whether there are alternative options. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the Cold War bipolarisation, the authors conclude that Carter was forced to abandon his noble aspirations for a more principled foreign policy regarding the U.S. arms sales to Iran. They offer a two-level argument and maintain that structural causes and domestic political constraints created an unavoidable path-dependence. The research puzzle they carve out is original: why did Carter pursue the sale of the Airborne Early Warning Control Systems (AWACS) to Iran in 1977 despite his best intentions? They reach their conclusion in a logical, coherent, and meticulously researched manner, making good use of declassified material.


However, by trying to demonstrate near historical unavoidability, the article raises both conceptual issues and issues of theoretical orientation. This article review questions the authors’ assertion that they describe American self-interests pragmatically (257). It also interrogates the article’s relatively restricted theoretical orientation towards the study of local and supra-local politics (regarding links between U.S. foreign policy and Iranian domestic politics). The review first provides a summary of the article, situates it in the extant literature, and highlights its strengths. It then concentrates on the article’s unquestioned American Soviet-centrism and its historical, prosopographical, and theoretical implications.


The authors argue that Carter’s idealistic foreign policy reached an impasse when Cold War necessities and President Richard Nixon’s entrenched ‘blank cheque’ policy to Iran ‘forced’ Carter to keep apace with the Nixon arms sales to the Shah. They explain the transformation in Carter’s own thinking, and the evolving trepidations, inconsistencies, and struggles within the administration. They pay particular attention to the interactions between the President, his Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. From the very beginning of his presidency, Carter was primed to be the president of ‘change.’ He commenced with his 7 February 1977 letter to the Shah, which represented “the death blow to Nixon’s ‘blank check’” (259). The Presidential Directive (PD) 13 followed suit in August 1977. It seemed to consolidate this direction and represented an official policy document. It outlined Carter’s electoral promises about human rights and arms sales control. By the end of the year, though, Carter was finding himself toasting the Shah on New Year’s Eve in Teheran and using the misnomer of Iran as “an island of stability” (257). This dramatic foreign policy volte face is what the authors explain eloquently. Carter soon realised that under the burden of the perceived exigencies of Cold War containment against the Soviet Union, and the need to keep the Shah content and a stable ally, he was running out of options. The authors demonstrate that the President was actually finding himself boxed into a corner and unable to change the course of policy that Nixon had set in motion. The focalising point of this history is the relatively neglected, but tantalising for the U.S. administration, issue of the sale of technologically highly advanced AWACS aircrafts, part of a record breaking $5.7 billion arms package. To put this in context, at the time, the US was selling around $10 billion worth of arms each year.[1]


McGlinchey and Murray have produced admirably original research. They have made a copious effort to delve into declassified material from the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, and reconstructed the historical record even when some aspects of it remain classified. They rely on material that ranges from reports to memoranda, handwritten notes, briefings, telegrams, handwritten instructions, directives, letters, embassy assessments, and congressional testimonies. This investigation is meticulous. The authors reveal how the Congressional human rights agenda clashed with Carter’s foreign policy to Iran. They include some of the concerns of actors from within the administration about the geopolitical dangers from the Middle East. They address budgetary questions. They also demonstrate how the Central Intelligence Agency was reluctant about the sale, whereas the U.S. Air Force favoured it. Crucially, they achieve all these aims, while maintaining a clear focus on Carter and his administration’s struggles to apply an effective foreign policy.


Carter’s effort to change foreign policy course was a formidable trial. The President was sailing close to the wind as he was trying to navigate the troubled waters of a puzzling, and no less challenging, period of the Cold War. In the 1970s, the Cold War was characterised by a seeming antinomy between what is called détente and the continuation of containment. On the one hand, both the U.S. and the USSR were ‘preaching’ the easing of tensions with each other; ‘détente’ and ‘peaceful coexistence’ as they referred to them respectively.[2] On the other hand, their efforts to spread their geopolitical and ideological influence were still ongoing. This contradiction fuelled tensions during Carter’s presidency regarding the AWACS sale to Iran. Carter thought the easing of tensions to be more amenable to his own policies. However, he also found accepting human rights abuses in the name of détente to be immoral. He believed he could—and ought to—increase the international legitimacy and influence of the U.S. through a more just foreign policy following the Vietnam debacle.[3] He aimed to do so at the expense of the previous excessive emphasis on containing the influence of the USSR. The President aspired to break up the link that Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had cultivated between détente and containment.[4] However, as the authors make clear, the central balance of power between the U.S. and the USSR remained a major preoccupation. This apprehension about the central balance of power was further exacerbated by the increasing U.S. dependency on the Shah (an outgrowth of Kissinger’s policies) to contain the USSR. The Shah was Washington’s regional ‘policeman,’ and a steady source of income from exorbitant arms deals. The arms sales to Iran, and the straining it generated on the Carter presidency and Congress’ decision-making process, provides a materialist argument writ large about why the easing of tensions between the superpowers was a charade. The superpower struggle for influence across the globe was still present and arms sales were a vital component of it. This article elucidates vividly these very real dilemmas of the Carter Administration at a time when the USSR had endorsed the idea that revolutionary systemic war was pointless but had not abandoned its will to influence the world.


The article fills a crucial gap in the extant literature, which does not fully investigate the importance of the AWACS sale to Iran and its dynamics. Luca Trenta and Christian Emory, for instance, rely on merely a one-paragraph-long reflection on the back-and-forth of the arms sale to Iran and how it was straining Carter’s government from within and without.[5] Although the broader literature on U.S.-Iranian relations is wide, it fails to grapple with some of the dynamics and complexities of the arms sale. This, arguably, should be a centrepiece of any rational materialist investigation.[6] The relevant literature, despite the slow declassification of presidential archives, is evolving and is becoming increasingly specialised. It ranges from the legacy of the 1953 Anglo-American Iranian coup that installed the Shah to the 1979-1981 hostage crisis.[7] Historians and theorists alike are deeply interested in Carter’s decision-making, the relationship between policy and character, and intelligence failures.[8] This academic specialisation, though, might hamper the possibility of appreciating the full meaning of a niche issue like the AWACS deal. The article’s exact focus allows the authors to offer a nearly first-hand assessment of the challenges of changing foreign policy course as well as a legitimate critique: the disjunction between Carter’s dismissive construal of the AWACS arms sale in his memoirs and what actually happened according to the historical archive (271-272).


Similar to Carter’s own presidential library, which is designed in a cyclical manner, the authors give the unequivocal impression that Carter’s foreign policy was likewise going nowhere. This view, based on the appraisal of Carter as an idealistic leader, is rather hash and at the same time not critical enough.


First, the depiction of Carter as an idealist seems rather severe, since his concern to challenge America’s Soviet-centric approach to the Cold War was more widely shared. America’s reputation after the Vietnam War was diminished and anti-Americanism was on the rise. Domestic pressure against U.S. foreign policy adventurism was elevated. Carter relied on a popular wave of domestic discontent in order to win the presidential election.[9] The occasionally chaotic triumvirate of Carter-Vans-Brzezinski, as the authors depict it, was actually initially in agreement about easing Cold War tensions by trying to deemphasise Soviet-centrism,[10] and see the struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union in less urgent terms.[11] True, Cold War hawks, like former Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Nitze, were urging Carter to become more ‘pragmatic.’ They favoured a return to Cold War verities and the more confrontational type of containment.[12] However, this position was incompatible even with Nixon’s own version of détente. Nixon and Kissinger had redesigned containment for the period of détente in a less militaristic way—no boots on the ground—as a response to the ‘Vietnam syndrome,’ which was an effort to reduce the costs of an imperialist foreign policy.[13] Thus, détente and containment were seen differently by diverse members of the foreign policy establishment including containment’s ‘father,’ George F. Kennan. Kennan himself was unable to recognise his ideas in the militarised version of containment practiced by the U.S.[14] The representation of Carter as an idealist, a rather lone ‘player,’[15] downplays the fact that his concerns were not one man’s cause. The authors, perhaps due to space restrictions, could have touched upon some of the literature that casts Carter under a more positive light.[16] Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall, for instance, although critical of Carter,[17] emphasise that his foreign policy approach failed because he could not defeat the American militarist political culture that would reward toughness and alarmism[18]—a concern still valid today.[19] Disentangling alarmism and Soviet-centrism from evaluating Cold War exigencies is not insignificant in reappraising Carter.


Secondly, the critique of Carter as a mere idealist for pragmatic reasons is not critical enough because it seems to be missing certain political dynamics. Imperialist processes and small war dynamics—Iranian republicans probably imagined themselves to be involved in an ongoing war against the U.S.—moulded the link between nationalism and anti-Americanism. They influenced the Cold War in ways that neither Carter nor the analysis of the authors fully acknowledge.[20] The U.S.- Soviet-centric perspective and a lingering belief in modernisation theory systematically downplayed the potential impact of local agency.[21] On the one hand, much of Soviet-centrism that Carter was opposed to was resurfacing in different ways. Every case of domestic opposition to a loyal U.S. ally was attributed to Soviet infiltration.[22] Brzezinski, for instance, blamed foreign crises on Soviet expansionism.[23] On the other hand, American foreign policy seems to have been under the sway of modernisation theory; a view of Iran being at an earlier stage of political development, and a concomitant estimation of religion as a political factor of declining influence.[24] Both misperceptions resulted in a disinclination to study foreign domestic political dynamics on their own terms, and how their development related to U.S. foreign policy.[25] What the CIA and most others missed, Robert Jervis argues, “was that Iranian nationalism had turned not against the United States directly but against the Shah because he was seen as an American puppet.”[26] In the end, emotionally-fuelled domestic social and political dynamics in Iran led to the 1979 revolution.[27] This is a missed pragmatic concern that the U.S. did not explore, and which strains the version of pragmatism the authors employ.


There is the rub: without a proper understanding of the history of grievances, it is hard to grasp their political and strategic implications.[28] What was crucial in Iran was that the Shah and the U.S. were becoming despised. As Christopher Coker puts it—referring to the contemporary conflict in Afghanistan—“there is only one thing more dangerous than being hated, and that is being despised.”[29] The intense feelings harboured by the opposition to the Shah were clearly missed. No one seems to have been looking for them. Jervis considers this “as one of the critical factors in the overthrow of the regime.”[30] The authors do maintain that the U.S. was trying to complete the AWACS sale in order not to undermine the Shah’s legitimacy in Iran (268). However, even though this is historically accurate, it is also an explanation that risks naturalising the American skewed view of Iranian politics,[31] and of overlooking the costs it could (and did) inflict on U.S. foreign policy.[32]


Overall, tracing and stressing the co-evolution of domestic politics and foreign policy trials can be instructive. It can challenge our theoretical orientation. The authors employ the dichotomy between pragmatism/idealism, which seems to reflect the familiar dichotomy between realism and liberalism in theories of International Relations. Yet, as Jervis argues, our theories of international relations, especially realism and liberalism, are deficient. They do not account for the “political and social backlash against industrialization,” and the fashion in which the external environment can re-shape society and politics in ways that perhaps are predictable, but few of us may foresee.[33] These themes are reflected in the events from Iran: economically unfair modernisation,[34] and increasing resentment against both the Shah and US imperialism or hegemonic reach.[35] These issues helped transform secular Iran into the theocratic regime we know, and provide part of the context in which the AWACS sale was embedded.[36] These are relational and developmental matters,[37] which indicate the need for a more dynamic and interactionist theoretical outlook that brings the study of the local (Iran) and the supra-local (U.S.) closer together.


These concerns aside, McGlinchey and Murray’s lucid article provides excellent service to both historians of the Cold War and international relations scholars. They force us to think harder about the exigencies of Cold War containment, rigid U.S. domestic politics, and the margin of choice Carter actually had when trying to sell technologically highly advanced AWACS to the Shah of Iran amidst his efforts to ease Cold War tensions. Carter’s own contradictions and material constraints have received an exceptional, well-deserved and focused treatment. The authors’ carefully researched work will generate insights and debates about containment even beyond the confines of their historical case study.[38] Crucially, international relations scholars would benefit from the authors’ analysis to debate their insufficiently interactive theories of international politics in a world where obstinate domestic political dynamics appear to be increasingly consequential. As Robert Putnam puts it, worrying about “the same ‘big’ issues as our fellow citizens is not a distraction from our best professional work, but often a goad to it.”[39] U.S. foreign policy towards its regional ‘policeman,’ Iran, and the AWACS coffers-filling sale, falls into this category.


Alexandros Koutsoukis holds a Ph.D. degree from the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University (2017). He is part-time tutor at the same department. He has previously published on the war in Afghanistan for the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (in Greek; 2008) and the journal Global Discourse: “Building an Empire or Not? Athenian Imperialism and the United States in the 21st Century,” Global Discourse 3:1 (2013): 12-30. His review article, on Christopher Coker’s Rebooting Clausewitz: On War in the 21st Century (2017), co-authored with R. Gerald Hughes, will appear in Intelligence and National Security. He is currently working towards transforming his Ph.D. thesis into a monograph tentatively titled, Surrendering and World Politics: The Allure of Non-Realist Strategies in the Peloponnesian Wars. His research interests lie at the nexus of IR theory, especially Realism, and war studies. He is concerned with the contemporary relevance of Thucydides and Clausewitz, and their views on the determinants of victory and war termination, and their implications for IR theorisation.


© 2018 The Authors | Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License




[1] Lucy Wilson Benson, “Turning the Supertanker: Arms Transfer Restraint,” International Security 3:4 (1979): 5; Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall, America's Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009), 289.

[2] Campbell Craig, “The Nuclear Revolution as Theory,” in International Relations Theory Today, Ken Booth and Toni Erskine (eds.), 143-144 (Cambridge: Polity, 2016); Campbell Craig, “When the Whip Comes Down: Marxism, the Soviet Experience, and the Nuclear Revolution,” European Journal of International Security 2:2 (2017): 223-239; Stefano Guzzini, Realism in International Relations and International Political Economy (London: Routledge, 1998), 89-90; Robert English, Russia and the Idea of the West: Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 58; William C. Wohlforth, The Elusive Balance: Power and Perceptions During the Cold War (New York: Cornell University Press, 1993), 184-222; Robert Jervis’ H-Diplo review of John Lewis Gaddis’ George F. Kennan: An American Life (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011), http://h-diplo.org/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-XIII-24.pdf, 39.

[3] Craig and Logevall, 289.

[4] Guzzini, 95-107.

[5] Christian Emery, US Foreign Policy and the Iranian Revolution (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 35; Luca Trenta, “The Champion of Human Rights Meets the King of Kings: Jimmy Carter, the Shah, and Iranian Illusions and Rage,” Diplomacy and Statecraft 24:3 (2013): 481. A reference the authors omit, but which acknowledges its debt to McGlinchey’s research on the AWACS topic is Javier Gil Guerrero, The Carter Administration and the Fall of Iran’s Pahlavi Dynasty: US-Iran Relations on the Brink of the 1979 Revolution (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 47. Missing from the authors’ list of references is also an interesting policy document from Heritage Foundation’s analyst, Jeffrey B. Gayner, which explicitly focuses on the AWACS sale proposal and dovetails the authors’ argument, Jeffrey B. Gayner, “Limiting Arms Sales and the Iranian AWACS Proposal,” The Heritage Foundation, 20 September 1977, accessed 26 November 2017, https://www.heritage.org/middle-east/report/limiting-arms-sales-and-the-iranian-awacs-proposal.

[6] Charles L. Glaser, Rational Theory of International Relations: The Logic of Competition and Cooperation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).

[7] Ervand Abrahamian, The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (New York: The New Press, 2013); David Farber, Taken Hostage: The Iran Hostage Crisis and America’s First Encounter with Radical Islam (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006); David Patrick Houghton, US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

[8] Michael Link and Charles Kegley, Jr., “Is Access Influence? Measuring Adviser–Presidential Interactions in the Light of the Iranian Hostage Crisis,” International Interactions: Empirical and Theoretical Research in International Relations 18:4 (1993): 343-364. Betty Glad, An Outsider in the White House: Jimmy Carter, His Advisors, and the Making of American Foreign Policy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009); Robert Jervis, Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010).

[9] Craig and Logevall, 293.

[10] On the meaning and consequences of the Soviet-centric thinking in the Cold War see Richard K. Herrmann, “American Perceptions of Soviet Foreign Policy: Reconsidering Three Competing Perspectives,” International Society of Political Psychology 6:3 (1985): 375-411; Richard K. Herrmann, “The Power of Perceptions in Foreign-Policy Decision Making: Do Views of the Soviet Union Determine the Policy Choices of American Leaders?,” American Journal of Political Science 30:4 (1986): 841-875; Charles A. Kupchan, “American Globalism in the Middle East: The Roots of Regional Security Policy,” Political Science Quarterly 103:4 (1988-1989): 585-611. Jervis has also argued that many of the characteristics we associate with the Cold War are in effect brought about not by bipolarity but by the impact of the Korean War, Robert Jervis, “The Impact of the Korean War on the Cold War,” The Journal of Conflict Resolution 24:4 (1980): 563-592.

[11] Craig and Logevall, 292.

[12] Craig and Logevall, 291.

[13] Guzzini, 95-107. For the view of America as an imperial republic, see Raymond Aron, The Imperial Republic: The United States and the World, 1945-1973 (London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1975).

[14] See the roundtable contributions and especially Robert Jervis’ review of John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life (New York, W.W. Norton, 2011), http://h-diplo.org/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-XIII-24.pdf, 39. See also Curt Cardwell’s review of Ian Shapiro, Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2007), http://h-diplo.org/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-IX-18.pdf, 8; and Lloyd Gardner’s review of Ian Shapiro, Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2007), http://h-diplo.org/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-IX-18.pdf, 16. John C. Chalberg, “George Kennan: Realist as Moralist,” Reviews in American History 17, no. 3 (1989): 482-500; Charles W. Jr. Kegley, “The New Containment Myth: Realism and the Anomaly of European Integration,” Ethics and International Affairs 5:1 (1991): 99-114.

[15]  For example, the authors state: “The AWACS sale to Iran is only one example of a foreign policy developed on assumptions of American self-interest and containment, rather than the rhetorical values espoused by Carter during his presidency. The Carter era of foreign policy was supposed to be different, or at least that was what Carter wanted to believe. What became evident, however, was the difficulty of promoting an international policy package constrained by the Cold War but mirroring the president’s liberal beliefs.” Stephen McGlinchey and Robert W. Murray, “Jimmy Carter and the Sale of the AWACS to Iran in 1977,” Diplomacy and Statecraft 28:2 (2017): 254. Yet, perceptions of American self-interest varied and not only among liberals.

[16] For such an assessment and reference to this literature, see the third footnote in David F. Schmitz and Vanessa Walker, “Jimmy Carter and the Foreign Policy of Human Rights: the Development of a Post-cold War Foreign Policy,” Diplomatic History 28:1 (2004): 115.

[17] Craig and Logevall, 296.

[18] Ibid., 291.

[19] On the US militarism and purported addiction to war today, see Andrew Bacevich, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2010); Andrew Bacevich, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005); Stephen M. Walt, “Is America Addicted to War? The top 5 reasons why we keep getting into foolish fights,” Foreign Policy, 4 April 2011, accessed 26 November 2017, http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/04/04/is-america-addicted-to-war/; see also a related response to one of Walt’s most recent interviews, Stephen M. Walt, “Interview–Stephen Walt,” E-International Relations, 14 November 2017, accessed 26 November 2017, http://www.e-ir.info/2017/11/14/interview-stephen-walt-2/.

[20] Trenta, 480-481. Craig and Logevall remark: “Determined to maintain secular values in the face of growing Islamist unrest, [the Shah’s] secret police organization, SAVAK, imprisoned and tortured Islamic clerics and other dissidents by the thousands, using methods and equipment provided by the CIA,” Craig and Logevall, 295. For a comparison between US imperial but not imperialist foreign policy today and Athenian imperialism in the 5th C BC, see Alexandros Koutsoukis, “Building an Empire or Not? Athenian Imperialism and the United States in the Twenty-First Century,” Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought 3:1 (2013): 12-30. For the distinction between imperial and imperialist foreign policy see Aron’s classic, The Imperial republic; Tarak Barkawi, “On the Pedagogy of ‘Small Wars’,” International Affairs 80:1 (2004): 22.

[21] Barkawi, 22.

[22] The absence of a red hand “flew in the face of everything” Washington had long believed; Naas quoted in Trenta, 493.

[23] Craig and Logevall, 291.

[24] Jervis, Why Intelligence Fails, 25.

[25] Jervis, 18.

[26] Jervis, 25.

[27] For the centrality of social and political dynamics in shaping small wars and how wars end, see Alexandros Koutsoukis, “Challenging Victor Bias and Status Quo Bias in Realist Accounts of Surrender: Re-Reading Three Cases of Surrender from the Peloponnesian War” (PhD Thesis, Aberystwyth University, 2017).

[28] Christopher Coker, Rebooting Clausewitz: On War in the 21st Century (London: Hurst, 2017), 141.

[29] Christopher Coker, “The Conflict in Afghanistan,” LSE British Politics and Policy blog, 20 April 2010, accessed 16 November 2017, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/afghanistan-we-can-longer-define-success/.

[30] Jervis, Why Intelligence Fails, 98.

[31] Note for instance Jervis’ argument: “to attribute [the Shah’s] behaviour to American mixed messages would be to make the same error that the Shah’s nationalist critics did of seeing him as a puppet,” ibid., 25, 29-30.

[32] See Schmitz’s arguments about the costs America incurred in supporting dictators it considered a necessary evil, David F. Schmitz, The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1965-1989 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

[33] Robert Jervis, “President Trump and IR Theory,” H-Diplo/ISSF Policy Series “America and the World-2017 and Beyond, 2017, https://issforum.org/roundtables/policy/1-5b-jervis, 3-4; Ayşe Zarakol, “Revisiting Second Image Reversed: Lessons from Turkey and Thailand,” International Studies Quarterly 57:1 (2013): 150-162.

[34] Trenta, 480-481. Jervis also makes this specific link between economic instability and unrest in Iran: “From my perspective, one obvious source of the unrest was the unstable economic situation,” Jervis, Why Intelligence Fails, 22.

[35] Cardwell, 7; Trenta, 480-481; Barkawi; Aron.

[36] Trenta, 480-481; Stephen Kinzer, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Hoboken: Wiley, 2008), x.

[37] On the need to adjust our theories to account for the co-evolution of ideas and material realities, see Peter A. Gourevitch, “Interacting Variables: September 11 and the Role of Ideas and Domestic Politics,” Dialog-IO 1:1 (2002): 71-80.

[38] See for instance the H-Diplo roundtable on Ian Shapiro, Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy Against Global Terror (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2007), http://h-diplo.org/roundtables/PDF/Roundtable-IX-18.pdf; Douglas Porch’s H-Diplo review of Andrew Bacevich’s America’s War for the Greater Middle East. A Military History (New York, Random House, 2016), https://networks.h-net.org/system/files/contributed-files/roundtable-xviii-15_0.pdf, 32.

[39] Robert Putnam, “Answering “Mother-in-Law” Questions Can Move the Discipline Forward,” found in Jennifer L. Hochschild, “APSA Presidents Reflect on Political Science: Who Knows What, When, and How?,” Perspectives on Politics 3:2 (2005), 314.