This book is about the U.S. rush to arms in the Persian Gulf, the tragic loss of life on both sides, the destruction inflicted on Kuwait and Iraq, and the many uncertainties that confront America in the aftermath of the war. It reflects the views of millions who believe that the war could have been prevented through diplomacy and negotiation. Menos concludes that the Persian Gulf war was unjust and unnecessary. To be just and necessary, it would have had to meet two key criteria: (1) the war would have had to be an act of last resort, after all efforts at a peaceful resolution had failed--which it was not, in view of the near-total absence of direct negotiations between the two sides; and (2) the "good" achieved from the war would have had to outweigh its harmful effects--which it did not, in light of the enormous destruction and loss of life caused by the fighting and its aftermath. Specialists in the fields of diplomacy, international relations, and the Middle East will find this book of particular interest.