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From the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark to Iranian mine fields to Revolutionary Guard gunboats, the 1987-88 Persian Gulf was a place of shadowy danger for U.S. Navy ships assigned to protect oil tankers during the Iran-Iraq War. A low-profile escort mission quickly became an international test of wills between the United States and Iran. The conflict escalated to involve secret missions and special operations until finally the United States and Iran engaged in open combat, most notably during Operation Praying Mantis in April 1988, the world's largest sea-air battle since World War II. It was the largest deployment of American forces between the Vietnam War and Desert Storm and one with dramatic implications for subsequent events. Yet, the story remained mostly untold and misunderstood for almost two decades. Inside the Danger Zone is the first book ever published to focus on this period, a fourteen-month span that saw an unprecedented series of American military action in this volatile region. Based on declassified documents and extensive interviews with veterans and government officials, many of which spoke out for the first time, Inside the Danger Zone is a fast moving narrative history that tells the story of this quasi-war with Iran from the White House to the front lines.