Fearful as always of assassination, Saddam Hussein flew into Amman in an unmarked executive jet . He arrived minutes after an Iraqi Airways Boeing 727 touched down, full of subordinates whom he had sent in first as a more visible target.
In coat and tie and accompanied by two bodyguards, he paused briefly at the door of the plane. Then he stepped out onto a red carpet. An honor guard from the Arab Legion snapped to attention. Jordan's King Hussein smiled and stretched out his arms. The two men hugged and exchanged kisses on both cheeks. It was the same embrace the monarch had shared only an hour earlier with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak--whose troops would soon face Saddam's in the sands of the Arabian desert.
Saddam Hussein appeared unusually somber. After exchanging pleasantries and reviewing the honor guard, he sped away from the airport in a black limousine. What had brought him to Jordan was the first anniversary of the Arab Cooperation Council, a regional fraternity to which no one but King Hussein paid much attention. But when Saddam got up to speak in the glass-walled Royal Cultural Center, he slipped through breezy rhetoric on the strength of Arab unity--"We can see the bright lights of holy Jerusalem"--then unloaded some dark thoughts about a new world order in the Middle East. It was still early in the year--only Feb. 24--but his words were, in retrospect, a warning of what was to come.
The clouds of war began taking shape in Saddam Hussein's mind during those raw February days, although there is every indication that if he had gotten the deal he wanted--if Kuwait had given him the money he demanded, the access to the Persian Gulf he needed and the help he sought in pushing world oil prices higher--Saddam would have settled for a diplomatic solution between brotherly Arab states. But either way, peacefully or militarily, Saddam intended to make Iraq the principal power in the gulf; and he knew he could not wait forever. His country was broke after an eight-year war with Iran. His Soviet patrons were withdrawing their support. His million-man army was idle--something that makes any dictator nervous--and the Kuwaitis were stubborn. They were ignoring his call for less oil production. Lower oil prices were costing Iraq billions of dollars. From Saddam Hussein's perspective, Kuwait's intransigence was tantamount to economic warfare.
With Moscow's influence diminishing, he told his Arab brothers at the assembly in Jordan, the United States was positioning itself to fill a superpower vacuum in the gulf. Together with its Israeli allies, Washington intended to undermine the Arabs, he warned. Now the United States would control oil prices, help settle Israel's occupied territories with Soviet Jews and dominate the region militarily. There was no room, he argued, for "faint-hearted" Arabs who were willing to let the United States have its way.
Mubarak, America's most important Arab ally and the recipient of $3 billion a year in U.S. aid, sat listening, at times visibly angered. He did not applaud when the Iraqi president finished speaking.
Saddam's tone would become even more belligerent in the weeks ahead, particularly toward Kuwait, one of the nations that had bankrolled his war against Iran. In July he sent an envoy, Sadoun Hammadi, to Kuwait to demand $10 billion. Kuwait countered by offering $600 million. Other Iraqi envoys, Arab sources say, traveled throughout the Middle East, bearing promises of lavish gifts for those willing to support the disembowelment of Kuwait. Yasser Arafat, the sources say, was offered an Iraqi base for the Palestine Liberation Organization; Tunisia could forget its debt to Kuwait and keep the hotels it had built with Kuwaiti loans; impoverished Jordan would get a cut of Kuwait's oil revenues; Yemen would get support in its territorial dispute with Saudi Arabia. Saddam phoned Cairo himself. He offered Mubarak $50 million in two payments--one for the purchase of wheat, the other for use at Mubarak's discretion.
Mubarak said he would not be a party to extortion and hung up.
All the while, Iraqi soldiers were massing near the Kuwait border. On the night of July 27, an American KH-11 satellite, using infrared technology and a system that magnifies starlight, detected trucks hauling ammunition, fuel and water out of Baghdad and Basra toward the Iraqi front lines--supplies the troops would need for war.
Four days later, during a congressional hearing in Washington, Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East, asked John Kelly, assistant secretary of state for Near East and South Asian affairs, this question: "If Iraq, for example, charged across the border into Kuwait, . . . what would be our position with regard to the use of U.S. forces?"
"That, Mr. Chairman, is a hypothetical or a contingency question, the kind of which I can't get into," Kelly replied. Pressed, he said the United States had no treaty obligations to Kuwait.
Their exchange was widely reported in Europe and on the British Broadcasting Co.'s World Service. Saddam Hussein must have felt reassured.
He told Mubarak, King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and the Kuwaitis that no invasion was imminent and that Iraq was committed to finding a diplomatic solution to its concerns. Almost everyone, except the CIA and Israel, believed him. Given Saddam's pledge, the Kuwaitis dismissed U.S satellite photos of Iraqi troop concentrations as an American ploy to gain a military base in the region.
"We came to the conclusion that Saddam Hussein was not going to invade," recalls Saud al Nasir al Sabah, Kuwait's ambassador to the United States. Kuwait's 65,000-man army was taken off alert status--and, at 2 a.m. on Aug. 2, the Soviet-made T-72 tanks of Iraq's Republican Guards swept over the desert and rumbled across the border. "Are you sure?" an astonished King Fahd asked when aides awakened him with news of the invasion. Kuwait fell in less than six hours. Its emergency warning siren never even sounded.
Within hours, three Iraqi divisions had moved south out of Basra toward Saudi Arabia. The satellites detected Frog 7 missiles being hauled into position. Resupply trucks rolled toward the front, where for the first time in modern history one Arab country had conquered another.
Then, sometime on the second day of the invasion, a contingent of Iraqi troops crossed into Saudi territory, in violation of a nonaggression pact Saddam and King Fahd had signed in 1989. The Saudi chief of staff picked up the hot line phone connecting his Eastern Province command with Iraq's Air Force headquarters. "We're sorry, they're not meant to be there," the Iraqi commander replied. Almost before the Saudi general could put down the phone, a telex chattered into his command center, conveying an apology and a promise: "If one Iraqi soldier puts his finger across your border, we will cut off his hand." Six hours later, the Iraqis probed again--at a different spot. The Saudi commander reached for the hot line a second time.
"We'll check and get back to you within 30 minutes," he was told.
But the Iraqis never called back. And a short while later, Iraqi troops made yet a third incursion.
The Saudi general picked up the phone again.
This time the line was dead.
The Middle East is the world's deadliest neighborhood. It has 17 Arab countries and a Persian republic populated by 231 million Muslims as well as small Christian minorities and one Jewish state with a population of less than 5 million. It has known few days of true peace in this century, none since Israel was born to a rattle of gunfire 42 years ago. Lurching from crisis to moments of ill-conceived optimism and back into crisis, it has spent more on weapons, fought more wars and suffered more casualties than any other part of the Third World.
Each international crisis--from Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956 to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982--has radicalized larger numbers of Arabs, arousing their mistrust of outsiders, even of each other, leaving them more and more convinced that they face a permanently hostile world. In the wake of each calamity, their animosity toward the West has mounted, especially against Israel's financial and political underwriter--the United States. Alienation has grown. Despair has deepened.
Now there is Saddam Hussein, a ruthless and reckless man with chemical and biological weapons, as well as the largest army in the Arab world; a man who recently had said, "By God, we will make fire eat up half of Israel if it tries anything against Iraq;" a man who controls 40% of all oil production in the Middle East. His stake in the destiny of the Persian Gulf is even larger.
Iraq has altered regional balances, unleashing change that will shape the character of the Middle East into the 21st Century.
Some nations--Saudi Arabia, for instance--will never be the same. Other things--the thirst for money, arms and vengeance, for example--are likely to remain unchanged, perhaps increase.
King Fahd, who personally approved the American deployment, can never again claim to be nonaligned, nor will his nation ever be quite as aloof from the outside world. His risks are immense, not the least of which is that an Arab backlash against the Saudis could render Fahd's kingdom politically impotent. In any event, the defense of the House of Saud--as well as of Islam's holiest sites--will now depend upon others:
Today, the Americans; tomorrow, perhaps the Egyptians or the Syrians.
If the Americans leave, as they say they will when they are no longer welcome, the effects of the gulf crisis might not be drastic, domestically. While Saudi society is likely to grow more open, it is not likely to become democratic.
Its foreign policy, meanwhile, probably will revert to checkbook diplomacy. Some members of the House of Saud are candid about it. "If we can pay someone off and just produce enough oil, we'll be happy because we've got a lot to lose," says a senior member of the Saudi royal family.
Even today, despite the magnitude of the Iraqi threat, Saudi Arabia--a country whose miraculous $700-billion modernization was built on the sweat of foreign workers--has neither instituted a draft nor mobilized its citizens. Instead, the Saudis have, in effect, rented a Third World army to fight in place of its own citizens, alongside the United States and its allies. The Saudis have been paying this army with part of the additional $100 million a day the kingdom has been earning from higher oil prices caused by the gulf crisis.
Its front-line troops are not Saudis, but hired Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. In Egypt, hundreds of jobless peasants have stood in long lines at the Saudi Embassy, volunteering for the Saudi army. Their motivation is hardly a sense of Islamic or Arabic duty. The $1,000 monthly salary to defend Saudi Arabia is simply too attractive to ignore. (A private in the U.S. Army with less than two years experience makes $812 a month).
The most sensible response to the gulf crisis would seem to be an end to the weapons race that has preoccupied both Arabs and Israelis. The Bush Administration's first impulse, however, has been to offer Saudi Arabia another $21 billion worth of arms. Angrily, Israel has denounced the deal. In response, Congress has scaled back the Administration's offer. And Israel has countered with a $1-billion weapons request of its own. Other countries--Egypt, Syria, Iran and Yemen, for instance--also are likely to be shopping for more weapons to maintain parity with troublesome neighbors.
In the end, the new Middle East may, in a surprising number of ways, resemble the old. "I've been involved in so many attempts to reduce the sale of arms in the Middle East--going back to the '40s--and they don't amount to anything," says Hermann F. Eilts, a former U.S. ambassador to both Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
If arms sales cannot be curbed, then could a new regional alliance bring security to the gulf? Maybe, but such an alliance might cause more problems than it solves.
"All Arab countries have neither a stable political logic nor an identifiable political creed," an Egyptian columnist, Mahmoud al-Saadani, has written recently. "They are more like a circus with no manager in charge. Sometimes they are moved by regional interests, sometimes class interests, or clan interests. In the end, it is all a matter of crass interests and nothing else."
Long after the crisis is over, Arabs will be settling old scores. Saudi Arabia will want to make Arafat and King Hussein pay for backing Saddam. Fundamentalists will want gulf monarchies to squirm for allowing their defense by infidels. Egypt never will forgive Saddam--assuming he survives--for making Mubarak look like a fool. Iraq will attempt to undermine Syria to neutralize its role as an emerging power. Saudi Arabia will subsidize the tribes of Yemen and of Jordan to weaken the central governments in both countries. And the Palestinians--who helped build Kuwait, then turned against its ruling Sabah family in favor of Iraq, and who took Saudi billions and then short-changed the Saudis, too--will no longer be welcome in the gulf.
"The East in general has no squeamishness about working for rewards," wrote the British traveler H. St. J. B. Philby in the 1930s. "What else does one work for?" For Saudi Arabia's new partners, the rewards will be immediate: Syria is getting $500 million in Saudi aid, and Egypt is getting $800 million.
Conversely, when Egypt's Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood voted to condemn Saudi Arabia's call for U.S. troops, the Saudis threatened to cut off its subsidy--and the group did a quick about-face. It since has endorsed the Saudi action.
As long as there is oil, money will remain the fulcrum around which Middle East alliances will turn.
AMONG THE PALESTINIANS
"I will cry," declares a Palestinian proverb. "Then I will walk away."
Riad Aassi, 31, unemployed, the father of three, understands the sad ring of those words. "We Palestinians," he says, "have always been scapegoats for the troubles of the Middle East. It is hard to say what will become of us now."
A short man with thickset, curly black hair, Aassi and his wife, Intissar, live in a sprawling refugee camp called Baqa, north of Amman. One of 10 shantytowns for the Palestinian refugees in Jordan, it is a teeming warren of alleyways jammed with peddlers and pushcarts. November rain rattles on the corrugated metal roofs of its cinder-block homes. Restless young men walk along its unnamed, potholed streets. About 100,000 people live in this camp, and Aassi doubts that he or his children will ever know any other home.
Back when there was a Palestine, the Aassi family lived in Jaffa, on the Mediterranean coast. His parents fled during the war of 1948, moved to a village in the West Bank and, in 1956, to Kuwait in search of work. Aassi's father, Mohammed, an old man now, still lives there. But the Iraqi invasion ended his job as a school guard--as well as the $160 checks he used to send each month to sustain his son's family.
Intissar Aassi pulled four unpaid monthly electricity bills from her purse.
How would they ever be paid? she asked.
"I personally have been injured by what's happened in Kuwait," her husband said. "The money's gone. My father's pension has been lost. Everything. Now my father can barely support my brothers and sisters. "Will there be war? I cannot say. Only President Bush knows.
"Believe me, no Arab will side with the Americans against the Iraqis. The majority of Arabs support Saddam. No other Arab leader has challenged the outside powers like Saddam. If I had the ability, yes, I would fight for him."
Well aware of America's hasty retreat from Lebanon in 1984, Saddam doubted the resolve of a nation that he described during the Amman conference as fatigued, frustrated and hesitant. In his speeches that followed, he aimed at the Arab masses: "God," he said, "wants Iraq to wage the battle on Iraqi soil for the liberation of Jerusalem and other holy shrines!"
His state-run newspapers disparaged those whom the Americans had come to save. He declared the ruling family of Kuwait to be descendants of Christian Crusaders and said the Saudi royal family was of Jewish ancestry.
The response was electric: "Long live Iraq!" "Long Live Saddam Hussein!" "Long live Palestine."
The cheering, however, was not for Saddam or his invasion, but for a concept: Finally, for the first time since Egypt's Gamal Shawki Abdel Nasser, an Arab leader had been bold enough to stand up to the West and had said all the catchwords--Palestine, Islam, unity, sharing Arab oil--that reminded the Arabs how much should be right, and how much had gone wrong. "You can call Saddam Hussein an impostor," says Riad Ajami, an economics professor at Ohio State University, "but he has played well to the Arabs' frustrations."
"Where does the frustration we're seeing in the gulf crisis lead?" Ajami asks. "To the economics and politics of rage, I think. It will really be a very powerful force."
The economic frustrations are easy to see--in individuals and in entire nations. Sayed Shihata Abdel Rahman, 30, for instance, is one of the 180,000 Egyptians who worked in Kuwait before the invasion. He and his fellow workers fled. By the thousands, they came home.
Cash-strapped Egypt depends upon its workers in foreign countries to send home $8 billion every year. They are its single largest source of hard currency. But now Abdel Rahman and his fellow workers are no longer a source of support--but a drain. Not only are many back at home, but they also are unemployed. The drain--and their dissatisfaction--are undercutting popular support for Egyptian President Mubarak's handling of the crisis.
Atif Abeid, minister of Cabinet affairs, calls the returning workers "a time bomb."
"Inside myself," Abdel Rahman says, "there is a rage."
Abdel Rahman had it good in Kuwait. He lived on the oceanfront, played squash at a health club and took vacations back home and in Europe. Nonetheless, even then he was bitterly aware of the disparity between the Arabs who have and the Arabs who have not. He made 300 dinars a month, while a Kuwaiti earned 450. "If I stopped my car at a traffic light, the Kuwaiti has to go first," he recalls. "If I want to go in the elevator at my work, he has to go first."
More than half of those 600,000 native Kuwaitis now are living outside their country. With access to huge fortunes invested in non-Arab countries, they are the "deluxe Palestinians" of the Middle East. Only three generations removed from their Bedouin ancestors, princes who slept on the rooftops of their mud palaces hoping to catch a desert breeze, the Kuwaitis have been eyewitnesses to two stunning transformations: The first turned their fragile sheikdom into one of the most physically modern countries on Earth; the second destroyed it.
The Kuwaitis say they built their country once, and they can build it again. With imported labor and Saudi generosity, it would not be a daunting task. The ruling Sabah family could be returned to power, although probably with diluted authority, curbed by their promise in exile to restore Kuwait's 1962 constitution, which would open the way to reconvening Parliament and to free elections. But the Kuwaitis would need long-term security. An arrangement with Washinton--under an Arab umbrella that includes Saudi Arabia and Egypt--could lessen Kuwait's vulnerability.
If the Kuwaitis do get their country back, Saddam Hussein may have given them the gift of nationalism. Having built an identity on pampered wealth and four-star hotels, the Kuwaitis have, for the first time, faced national dispossession.
Many have acted courageously, guiding foreigners on escape routes to Saudi Arabia, hiding others in their homes, resisting occupation with words and guns. It is as though they have remembered their past and again become the Arabs of the desert, a people whose gallantry and patience always shone brightest in time of hardship.
AMONG THE ISRAELIS
Yossi Olmert, former professor of Middle East studies and now chief spokesman for Israel's governing Likud bloc, sat in Jerusalem's finest seafood restaurant. Between interruptions from the telephone beeper on his belt, he poked at his Greek salad.
"I think in the final analysis," Olmert said, "the outcome of this crisis will strengthen the bonds between Israel and the United States. We will be seen as ready to help, but also prepared to stand on the sidelines, if America requests that stance."
To many experts on the Middle East, the Persian Gulf crisis appeared to send American and Israeli interests veering in sharply different directions: Here were American troops, standing shoulder to shoulder with their Arab allies in Saudi Arabia. Here was the United States voting for two United Nations resolutions critical of Israel's handling of the Temple Mount riot in which 20 Palestinians were killed.
Olmert minimized the impact of those events.
No, he said, the Americans would not desert Israel, because any U.S. alliance with the Arabs will prove to be no more than a dalliance. Just look at the PLO, for instance. Doesn't its support of Saddam prove its untrustworthiness? Israel's political left, Olmert argued, was in a shambles because it had been duped into believing that the PLO wanted peaceful coexistence.
"I don't feel betrayed by the PLO," Olmert added. "This is the kind of thing I expected from them. I really believe they want to destroy us."
The Iraqi invasion and Arafat's support for Saddam have destroyed Israel's peace camp. At the same time, that alliance has discredited moderate Palestinians and jeopardized chances for a renewed dialogue between the PLO and Washington. Coming on top of the failure of the intifada and Israel's unwillingness to trade land for peace, the frustrated Palestinian movement is likely to become increasingly radicalized.
But even if the Palestinian issue were settled tomorrow, the crisis in the Arab world would go on.
Certainly, King Hussein's throne has been put in peril. In a recent effort to appease increasingly powerful fundamentalists, he instructed his Parliament to refer to him as Shariff, after his great-grandfather, Shariff Hussein, once the custodian of Mecca.
In Cairo, Mubarak has staked his political survival on American actions in the Arabian Peninsula. Washington has rewarded Egypt by forgiving a $6.7-billion debt that the economically battered country would never have been able to repay anyway. But, if the Americans are seen as losers in the campaign against Saddam, or if they act unilaterally against him, Mubarak could be the victim of anti-Western fervor. An unfriendly or weakened Egypt would severely limit U.S. regional influence and torpedo prospects for an Arab-Israeli settlement.
Syria, as usual, has played its cards skillfully and stands to gain from the gulf crisis. While risking little, President Hafez Assad has brought much of Lebanon under his dominance with a brutal attack on Gen. Michel Aoun's rebel Christian forces. Assad has gained legitimacy with the West by sending troops to Saudi Arabia and strengthened his position as the man without whose support neither war nor peace is practical in the Levant.
Of all the nations involved in the gulf crisis, Iran may be the biggest winner. After 11 years of political ostracism and economic isolation, Tehran is no longer the pariah of the region. If it stands by its pledge to honor sanctions against Iraq and if Western hostages in Lebanon are released--a possibility that is no longer remote--Iran probably can count on renewed Western aid, help from the World Bank and the eventual release of $400 million frozen in the United States since Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's overthrow in 1979.
For several years the Middle East has been edging, ever so cautiously, toward democracy, a philosophy Islamic theorists have concluded is compatible with their religion.
Iran, for instance, has written a constitution, formed a Parliament and held elections. Egypt has established a human rights organization and given a political voice to the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Algeria and Jordan have held elections and seen an alarming number of fundamentalists sweep to victory. The two Yemens have united under a system that had all the trappings of a republic-style state. Kuwait's emir had mulled the possibility of restoring Parliament. Even Saudi Arabia has talked about forming a consultative council.
But this movement may be a victim of the Kuwaiti invasion.
King Fahd, double-crossed by the two primary beneficiaries of Saudi largess--Iraq and the PLO--will hardly be in the mood to encourage public debate. At the same time, monarchs such as King Hussein, whose country is 60% Palestinian, and rulers such as Syria's Assad, who can be uncompromising, as well as leaders like Egypt's Mubarak, who must answer to ever-growing numbers of religious zealots, all are hostage to forces beyond their control. They have never been able to find any political solutions that cross the gap between the appeal of fundamentalism on one hand, and the stigma of being Western and modern on the other.
Their sons may wear Michael Jackson T-shirts and study the U.S. Constitution in school, but for them to seek new democratic frontiers now, at a time when divisions tear at Arab society and Arab masses seethe with discontent, would invite danger.
For all their talk of brotherhood, Arabs do not trust Arabs. Nor do they depend on each other economically. Only 5% of Arab trade is interregional. Only 2% of the $140 billion Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have invested abroad is in Arab countries.
But while the world moves toward a global society, the Arabs are backing away. They look not to Europe or to Japan or to Korea for models of successful development, because they fear that all outside influences will rob them of their "Arabness."
The Sabahs and their key aides, having escaped Kuwait in a convoy of Mercedes-Benzes minutes ahead of the Iraqi tanks, are now ensconced in a luxury Saudi Arabian mountain resort on the Red Sea, running their government-in-exile from a cluster of hotel rooms. Facsimile machines purr on marble tables and everywhere are TVs tuned to CNN.
In his fifth-floor suite overlooking the Sarawad Mountains, the emir, Jabbar al Ahmed al Sabah, paces on the balcony, back and forth, back and forth, saying little.
His cousin, Saad al Abdullah al Sabah, the crown prince, leaves the hotel in the evenings, after a dinner of roast lamb and spiced rice, and walks alone in the desert, a solitary figure moving across the sands in tennis shoes and a flowing white dishdasha .
"I have never seen the Arab world more divided than it is now," writes Mohammad Heikal, an Egyptian author who was once one of Nasser's most trusted confidants. "There is much emotion and little clarity.
"The old order does not want to die and the future is refusing to be born."
The Consequences What Next in the Mideast Look for: New political and strategic alignments with the United States and major powers. It will become more difficult to remain "non-aligned." More dependency on "checkbook diplomacy," in which countries pay for protection in money, but not in troops. Renewed attempts at regional alliances that have proved futile in the past. Comparing the Countries of the Middle East
Each of the countries in the Middle East has a different set of national variables that affects the role it may play in this crisis. Below are some of the crucial national and economic features of the major players in the region.
Populations in millions Egypt: 54.71 Iran: 55.65 Iraq: 18.78 Israel: 4.41 Jordan: 3.06 Kuwait: 2.12 Saudi Arabia: 17.12 Syria: 12.48 Turkey: 56.70 United Arab Emirates: 2.25 Yemen: 7.16
Foreign Debt in billions Egypt: $45.0 Iran: $4-5 Iraq: $40* Israel: $16.4 Jordan: $8.3 Kuwait: $7.2 Saudi Arabia: $18.9 Syria: $5.3 Turkey: $36.3 United Arab Emirates: $11.0 Yemen: $3.5
* Excluding debt to gulf Arab states.
Armed Forces in thousands Egypt: 450 Iran: 504 Iraq: 1,000 Israel: 141 Jordan: 85.25 Kuwait: 20.3 Saudi Arabia: 67.5 Syria: 404 Turkey: 647.4 United Arab Emirates: 44 Yemen: 38.5
Troop contributions in thousands Egypt: 29 Iran: 0 Iraq: 0 Israel: 0 Jordan: 0 Kuwait: 7 Saudi Arabia: 20 Syria: 34 Turkey: 100 ** United Arab Emirates: 40 Yemen: 0
** For defending its border with Iraq.
Per Capita income in thousands Egypt: $0.7 Iran: $1.8 Iraq: $1.94 Israel: $8.7 Jordan: $1.76 Kuwait: $10.5 Saudi Arabia: $4.72 Syria: $1.54 Turkey: $1.35 United Arab Emirates: $11.68 Yemen: $0.82
Source: Central Intelligence Agency's "The World Factbook 1990," the International Institute for Strategic Studies' "The Military Balance 1990-1991," and the Center for Defense information.