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RECONSTRUCTING A SHATTERED

EGYPTIAN ARMY
WAR MI NI STER GEN. MOHAMED FAWZI S
MEMOI R, 1967- 1971
Edited by YOUSSEF ABOUL-ENEIN






















Engagement in international affairs
requires knowledge and understanding
of the Middle East, and this is gained
only through reading and studying
works of those nations. General Fawzis
memoirs are an example of one such
crucial Arabic work of military
significance, as they expose Americas
military leaders to Egypts historical
military strategies, enabling the U.S. to
use this historical knowledge to more
efficiently partake in current
international affairs and the formulation
of U.S. national security policy.
FREDERICK KEMPE, president and
chief executive officer of the Atlantic Council


There is nothing more vital in the business of national
security than cultivating a deep understanding of the
region and the culture of an area of strategic interest to
the United States. I applaud Commander Aboul-Enein
for his long-term effort to introduce Americas military
planners to Arabic works of military significance.
Nothing beats understanding a country from the points
of view of its people. War Minister General Fawzi offers
not only a fresh way to look at the Arab-Israeli conflict,
but also provides insights into the architecture of what
would evolve into the 1973 Yom-Kippur War.
JOSEPH J. COLLINS, professor of National Security
Strategy, National War College, and former Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Stability Operations

Studying the strategic thinking of military leaders is a
critical dimension of intelligence analysis and if done
thoroughly provides an advantage in policy formulation
and planning. General Mohamed Fawzi (19152000)
served as the Egyptian defense minister and led the
rebuilding of the defeated Egyptian army after the Six-
Day War of 1967. Until now his memoirs have never
been made available in the English language, and his
perspectives on the challenges of reconstituting the
Egyptian armed forces provide deep insights into not
only his thinking, but also the reasoning of the Egyptian
General Staff, President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and their
Soviet advisers.
VANCE SKARSTEDT, former dean of the College of
Strategic Intelligence, National Intelligence University




A BOOK FOR REVIEW



NAVAL INSTITUTE PRESS BOOK NEWS






he memoirs of Gen. Mohamed Fawzi, Egyptian War Minister from 1967 to 1971, were first
published in 1984, but his work has not been translated from Arabic and remains undiscovered
by most English speaking readers. Many in the U.S. armed services have yet to be introduced to his
ideas, perspectives, and the tactical, operational and strategic seeds by which the 1973 Yom-Kippur
War were sown. In this new contribution to his series of essays originally written for the U.S.
Armys Infantry Journal, Aboul-Enein is determined to bring to life the military thoughts of this
Arab war minister as part of his mission to introduce America's military leaders to Arabic works of
military significance.
Sun Tzu admonishes his readers to know their enemies, and Aboul-Enein (an American
naval officer and established scholar whose personal and professional background gives him a
unique vantage point) makes a significant contribution to that aim through this and his previous
works. Fawzi is unique among Arab generals for his scathing critique of his own armed forces, and
from his critical examination of what went wrong in 1967 he was able to bring the Egyptian armed
forces back to a level that enabled Sadat to consider an offensive in 1973. Fawzi provides insights
into the level of Soviet cooperation and military aid provided to Egypt after the 1967 Six-Day War,
known simply in Arabic as al-Naksah (the setback), not to be confused with the 1948 Arab-Israeli
War known as al-Nakbah (the catastrophe). Despite occasional lapses into conspiracy theories,
wishful thinking, and the language of pan-Arabism, Fawzis work is an astute analysis of the
lessons learned from Egypts crushing defeat in the Six-Day War. This book is a warning never to
underestimate a defeated armys intellectual ability to innovate new tactics and strategies, leading to
a resumption of conflict.


YOUSSEF H. ABOUL-ENEIN is a U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps Commander, Middle East
Foreign Area Officer, and author of Militant Islamist Ideology, Iraq in Turmoil and co-author of
The Secret War for the Middle East. He teaches part-time at the National Defense University and
National Intelligence University in Washington, D.C.


RECONSTRUCTING A SHATTERED EGYPTIAN ARMY: War Minister Gen. Mohamed Fawzis
Memoirs, 1967-1971
Edited by Youssef Aboul-Enein
Publication date: 15 July 2014
256 pp., 1 photo, 4 maps. Hardcover list price: $64.95 45.95
ISBN: 978-1-61251-460-4 History Middle East eBook edition also available.

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