CDR Youssef H. Aboul-Enein discussed his book “The Secret War for the Middle East: The Influence of Axis and Allied Intelligence Operations During World War II” . the author contends that the Middle East during the World War II has been regarded as that conflict’s most overlooked theater of operations. Though the threat of direct Axis invasion never materialized beyond the Egyptian Western Desert with Rommel’s Afrika Korps, this did not limit the Axis from probing the Middle East and cultivating potential collaborators and sympathizers. These actions left an indelible mark in the socio-political evolution of the modern states of the Middle East. This book explores the infusion of the political language of anti-Semitism, nationalism, fascism, and Marxism that were among the ideological byproducts of Axis and Allied intervention in the Arab world. The status of British-dominated Middle East was tailor-made for exploitation by Axis intelligence and propaganda. German and Italian intelligence efforts fueled anti-British resentments; their influence shaped the course of Arab nationalist sentiments throughout the Middle East. A relevant parallel to the pan-Arab cause was Hitler’s attempt to bring ethnic Germans into the fold of a greater German state. In theory, as the Sudeten German stood on par with the Carpathian German, so too, according to doctrinal theory, did the Yemeni stand in union with the Syrian in the imagination of those espousing pan-Arabism. As historic evidence demonstrates, this very commonality proved to be a major factor in the development of relations between Arab and Fascist leaders. The Arab nationalist movement amounted to nothing more than a shapeless, fragmented, counter position to British imperialism, imported to the Arab East via Berlin for Nazi aspirations.
BIO: CDR Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, USN, is an officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps and Middle East Foreign Officer. He currently is Adjunct Military Professor and Chair of Islamic Studies at the Industrial College of the Armed Services. He has served as a Senior Advisor, Warning Officer and Instructor on Militant Islamist Ideology at the Joint Intelligence task Force for Combating Terrorism. He holds an MS in strategic intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College and is stationed in the Washington, DC area.
His co-author, Basil Aboul-Enein, is a former captain of the U.S. Air Force, where he held the position as Public Health commander and Medical Intelligence Officer at Columbus AFB. He has a Masters in Military History through Norwich University. He currently teaches undergraduate nutrition courses at San Jacinto College and East Mississippi Community College and lives in Starkville, MS.
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