My books capture decision-making in varying contexts and situations. They teach by drilling into different subjects, lessons learned and assumptions that did and did not turn out as expected. They are indispensable for decision-makers who will need to apply decision-making principles and avoid common traps in future, unexpected and unknown situations. Developing these skills is crucial to making decisions under uncertainty in dynamic environments.

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Decision Making in a Nuclear Middle East - Lessons from the Cold War is a must read for leaders and analysts in business, government and beyond.

This book is as timely today as it was when it was first published in 2016.  It takes a human decision making, operational approach to analyzing the implications of an Iranian-Israeli nuclear standoff.  It opens a window into the early years of the Cold War, when the United States faced an emerging nuclear adversary in the Soviet Union. The drama of those years come alive in the words of Presidents Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy, and of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Their thinking and actions were captured in documents, meeting notes and transcripts that only became available after the Cold War. There are recollections from senior officers on both sides, who were involved in the Cuban missile crisis, and nearly started a global nuclear war. Their experiences and decisions shed light on the risks and uncertainties that a nuclear Iran will add to an already unstable Middle East.

Decision Making in a Nuclear Middle East challenges assumptions that the Cold War was a generally safe and stable period whose outcome will likely repeat in the Middle East. The analysis takes a hard look at the assumed stability of the Cold War, the judgment of Soviet and American leaders, technology glitches, incidents and events that brought the superpowers closer to a nuclear exchange than they ever planned or expected. It considers the judgments, methods, and processes used by senior military commanders when false alarms raised fears that an adversary’s sneaky first strike was on its way.

 

The relative strengths and weaknesses of Iran and Israel are carefully considered to test the Israeli government’s position that a nuclear Iran represents an existential threat to the Jewish State. And it examines the Iranian government’s view of existential threats to Iran by external influences they judge contrary to Islamic principles.

Decision Making in a Nuclear Middle East is a short book that is packed with information and insights to help you understand the most dangerous emerging crisis of our times. It will arm you with the knowledge and information you need to evaluate policies and seek solutions to prevent another, even more dangerous, nuclear standoff. At stake are millions of lives, places central to three of the world’s greatest religions and the health of the world economy.

Going Nuclear reaches beyond the saga of the Iranian negotiations to discuss the influence of history and hindsight in other contexts, including technical analysis, decision making, leadership and business. The book contains numerous references and supplemental notes from psychology, intelligence analysis, military history and other fields. These provide the reader with many sources they can use for further study and understanding of the topics in this timely book.

My books teach and captivate on paper and through interpretations by outstanding narrators.

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Reviews

 

Praise for Decision Making in a Nuclear Middle East

 

Ozzie's analysis of the nuclear Middle East is based on a novel application of "benchmarking"- a technique used in business to compare best practices. Dissecting the Soviet-US Cold War nuclear deterrence history with great clarity, Ozzie Paez shows how fickle and unreliable mutual deterrence can be in the Middle East context. This is one of the most, if not THE most insightful, concise, clear-eyed analysis I've read about the Middle East fragile balance of power. I started reading this short book as a believer in mutual deterrence. I ended up absolutely convinced Paez is right, and Washington (surprise!) is blind as bat...

 

Read the full review of Decision Making in a Nuclear Middle East on Amazon

Praise for Going Nuclear

 

Author Ozzie Paez has done his homework and it shows. The book is based on numerous papers, articles, and interviews, that were integrated into a coherent read. Mr. Paez's passion saves us from the dry and tough experience that usually accompanies such fact-packed books. However, his personal experience as US Air Force veteran and researcher into safety and security don't surface as much as the interested reader may want it to.

 

The essence of the book is twofold. Not only does it shed light on current crises and political instability, but it also shows the detrimental effects of hindsight bias on decision-making. The book is more than just a history lesson, it harbors many useful insights for any decision-maker. A few of the best are: "Hindsight doesn't produce foresight" and its emergence is "a process, not an event'...

 

See B.L. van Veen's full review of Going Nuclear on Amazon