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After the Countercoup: Advising the Imperial Armed Forces of Iran

After the Countercoup: Advising the Imperial Armed Forces of Iran published on

Authored by United States Army Command and General Staff College

Iran in the 1950s was in the cross hairs of the Cold War power struggle between the US and USSR. Strategically located, Iran became critical in the foreign policy endeavors of the Eisenhower Administration in the Middle East. After the decision to force Mohammed Mossadeq to retire as the Prime Minister, the United States gave more than $700 million in mutual security assistance to the Shah of Iran from 1953-1959. In addition to the money, the US faced the challenge of transitioning the Iranian Armed Forces from an organization used by Iranian monarchs to quell unrest in the major population centers into a collective security partner with a trained and equipped military that could fight a delaying defensive campaign against a possible Soviet invasion. A Military Assistance Advisory Group was created and advisory efforts began. Iranian history, international rivalries, and the strategic constraints by continuous interference from policy makers in Washington and the Shah’s embellished interests for Iran weighed heavily on the effort. This monograph discusses the strategic context of Iran in the 1950s, the national level deliberations regarding the importance of Iran and the amount of assistance required, and analysis of whether or not the USSR was deterred from intervening in Iran due to the US demonstrable commitment there. This case study parallels future decisions for policy makers as to the future roles and organizations necessary to conduct foreign internal defense and advising the militaries of allied nations. Success or failure at advisory operations has strategic consequences.

Publication Date:
Apr 10 2015
1511666927 / 9781511666923
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
History / Middle East / Iran


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