Chapter

Commander-in-Chief

Gholam R. Afkhami

in The Life and Times of the Shah

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780520253285
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942165 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520253285.003.0013
Commander-in-Chief

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At the time of the Islamic revolution, the Imperial Iranian Army was considered a formidable force, unrivaled in the Middle East except by Israel and vying to become a world-scale power. This army was the creation of the Pahlavi dynasty, and the shah's hold on the army transcended the constitutional provisions that defined his role as commander-in-chief with supreme authority over the military. In the Pahlavi military culture, the shah was at once symbol and commander. The military's motto was “God, King, and Country,” the king being the point of convergence. This military establishment was largely shaped along U.S. organizational, procedural, logistical, strategic, tactical, and weapons guidelines. Over the years, it became increasingly disciplined and professional, though, ironically, this professionalism, in stressing respect for the line of command, strengthened the ties between the military and the shah.

Keywords: Islamic revolution; Iran; Imperial Iranian Army; Pahlavi dynasty; shah; Pahlavi military culture; supreme commander

Chapter.  15002 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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