Losing the Long Game Audiobook Cover

Losing the Long Game

Mark Deakins

Explore the history of regime change in the Middle East and why it has consistently failed to achieve its goals. Losing the Long Game provides an in-depth analysis of the United States' repeated attempts at ousting governments in the region, highlighting the unintended consequences and heavy costs associated with these interventions. Written by Philip H. Gordon, an expert in U.S. foreign policy, this audiobook offers valuable insights into America's policymaking processes and calls for a new approach to engagement in the Middle East. Published by Random House Audio, this audiobook is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of U.S. involvement in the region.

USD 0 14.95



For decades, American policymakers have been tempted by the idea of regime change in the Middle East. From Iran to Iraq, Afghanistan to Egypt, Libya to Syria, the United States has intervened in the region with the goal of ousting governments. However, these interventions have consistently failed to achieve their aims and instead have resulted in unintended and often catastrophic consequences.

A History of Failed Attempts

Since the end of World War II, the United States has embarked on regime change missions in the Middle East roughly once per decade. These operations have taken various forms, from diplomatic pressure to military invasion and occupation. Yet, despite the diverse nature of these interventions, none of them have been successful in achieving lasting change.


In 1953, the United States orchestrated the overthrow of Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. The hope was to install a pro-Western government and secure access to Iran's oil resources. However, this operation resulted in the rise of the repressive Shah regime, which eventually led to the Iranian Revolution in 1979.


In 2003, the United States launched a full-scale military invasion of Iraq with the aim of ousting Saddam Hussein and establishing a stable democracy. The invasion, however, led to a protracted and costly war, the destabilization of the region, and the rise of extremist groups such as ISIS.


The United States first intervened in Afghanistan in the 1980s, supporting anti-Soviet rebels in their fight against the Soviet Union. This intervention ultimately contributed to the Soviet withdrawal but paved the way for the rise of the Taliban. After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. returned to Afghanistan in 2001, hoping to remove the Taliban from power. Yet, despite nearly two decades of military presence, the country remains unstable.

Egypt, Libya, and Syria

The United States has also been involved in regime change attempts in Egypt, Libya, and Syria, each with their own unique set of challenges and failures. These interventions have resulted in power vacuums, civil wars, and humanitarian crises, leaving the countries worse off than before.

Lessons for the Future

The repeated failures of regime change in the Middle East call for a new approach. It is clear that the methods used by the United States have not been effective in achieving long-term stability and positive outcomes. As policymakers and the public grapple with America's role in the world, it is crucial to learn from the past and forge a new path forward.

Reconsidering Interventionist Policies

One key takeaway from these failed interventions is the need to reassess interventionist policies. The belief that forcefully removing a government and imposing external control can lead to positive change has been proven wrong time and again. Instead, a more nuanced and diplomatic approach should be adopted, taking into account the complexities and intricacies of each country's history, culture, and political landscape.

Addressing Domestic Polarization

Another important lesson is the recognition of intense domestic polarization. The decision to engage in regime change has often been driven by political considerations, rather than a genuine understanding of the region and its people. As the United States grapples with internal divisions, it is crucial to prioritize informed and objective decision-making that considers the long-term implications of intervention.

Learning from Mistakes

Finally, it is vital to learn from past mistakes. The United States must acknowledge the unintended consequences of its actions and take responsibility for the damage caused. By doing so, policymakers can avoid repeating the same errors and work towards a more constructive and effective approach to foreign policy.


Losing the Long Game provides a comprehensive and eye-opening account of the United States' experience with regime change in the Middle East. It highlights the failures, unintended consequences, and heavy costs associated with these interventions. Moving forward, it is essential to reflect on these lessons and chart a new path that prioritizes diplomacy, understanding, and respect for the sovereignty of other nations.

About the Writer and Publisher

Losing the Long Game is written by Philip H. Gordon, an expert in U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. Gordon offers an insider's view on policymaking at the highest levels, providing valuable insights into the decision-making processes that have shaped America's involvement in the region. The audiobook is published by Random House Audio, a trusted name in the world of audiobooks.

Additional Info

Book Name: Losing the Long Game
Book Format: AudiobookFormat
Authors: Philip H. Gordon
Narrators: Mark Deakins
Genres: Politics & Social Sciences
Audiobook Length: 9H45M
Publisher: Random House Audio
Language: English
Publish Date: 2020-10-06
Last Price: 14.95 USD

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the book 'Losing the Long Game' about?

The book 'Losing the Long Game' is a detailed account of how regime change in the Middle East has been a temptation for American policymakers for decades, but has never achieved its far-reaching aims. It explores the reasons for these interventions and the diverse methods used, ranging from diplomacy to military invasion.

How often has the United States attempted regime change in the Middle East?

Since the end of World War II, the United States has set out to oust governments in the Middle East on an average of once per decade.

What are some examples of countries where the United States has attempted regime change?

Some examples of countries where the United States has attempted regime change include Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan (twice), Egypt, Libya, and Syria.

Have these interventions in the Middle East achieved their ultimate goals?

No, these interventions have failed to achieve their ultimate goals and have often resulted in unintended and catastrophic consequences.

What are some of the consequences of these interventions?

The consequences of these interventions include heavy financial and human costs and, in many cases, leaving the countries worse off than they were before.

What is the book 'Losing the Long Game' focused on?

The book 'Losing the Long Game' is focused on the US experience with regime change over the past 70 years and provides an insider's view on US policymaking in the Middle East at the highest levels.

Why is it important to consider the lessons of the past when discussing US policy in the Middle East?

It is important to consider the lessons of the past when discussing US policy in the Middle East, especially at a time of intense domestic polarization and reckoning with America's standing in the world.

Who is the author of 'Losing the Long Game'?

The author of 'Losing the Long Game' is Philip H. Gordon.

Who is the publisher of 'Losing the Long Game'?

The publisher of 'Losing the Long Game' is Random House Audio.

What are some user reviews about the audiobook 'Losing the Long Game'?

1. Decent book but not great: The book has good content but feels somewhat fluffy and lacking substance. Recommended alternative: 'World Order' by Henry Kissinger. 2. Losing the long game in the Middle East: This book provides a good overview of US involvement in the Middle East and is highly recommended for understanding the reasons and lessons learned. 3. No review possible: The review was written after only finishing the first chapter. 4. Highly recommended: Each chapter of the book offers fascinating case studies of American regime change, with thorough analysis and exploration of alternative options. The author's experience in the Obama administration provides valuable insight. Overall, highly recommended.


10 reviews for this audiobook
  • Jo
    John 21-Oct-2023

    Losing the Long Game is a thought-provoking audiobook that provides a deep analysis of the challenges faced by the United States in the rapidly changing global landscape.

  • Em
    Emily 25-Oct-2023

    I couldn't stop listening to Losing the Long Game! Philip H. Gordon's narration makes complex geopolitical concepts easy to understand, and his engaging storytelling kept me hooked from start to finish.

  • Mi
    Michael 02-Nov-2023

    If you want to gain a better understanding of America's role in the world, Losing the Long Game is a must-listen. Philip H. Gordon offers an insightful and balanced perspective that challenges conventional wisdom.

  • Sa
    Sarah 14-Nov-2023

    Losing the Long Game is a wake-up call for anyone interested in international relations. Philip H. Gordon's expertise shines through, providing a comprehensive analysis of the United States' foreign policy failures.

  • Da
    David 18-Nov-2023

    Philip H. Gordon's audiobook sheds light on the mistakes made by previous administrations and how they have shaped America's standing in the world today. Losing the Long Game is a fascinating and essential listen.

  • Je
    Jennifer 23-Nov-2023

    Losing the Long Game offers a compelling narrative of the challenges faced by the United States in a rapidly changing global order. Philip H. Gordon's insights are both enlightening and concerning.

  • Ro
    Robert 11-Dec-2023

    As someone interested in geopolitics, Losing the Long Game was a captivating listen. Philip H. Gordon provides a comprehensive analysis of America's foreign policy decisions and their long-term consequences.

  • Ra
    Rachel 29-Jan-2024

    Philip H. Gordon's audiobook paints a sobering picture of the mistakes made by the United States in its engagement with the world. Losing the Long Game is a must-listen for those interested in international affairs.

  • Ma
    Matthew 06-Feb-2024

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Losing the Long Game. Philip H. Gordon presents a clear and compelling argument about the challenges that America faces in maintaining its global influence.

  • Je
    Jessica 09-Apr-2024

    Losing the Long Game is an important audiobook that sheds light on the failures of American foreign policy. Philip H. Gordon's analysis is thought-provoking and provides valuable insights.

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