This work presents the past history, present condition and future prospects of the state of Bahrain from the military and strategic point of view. With its position in one of the world's great waterways, Bahrain has always been an object of attraction to expansionist outsiders. The author describes how the Bahrainis have fought to protect their identity from the time of the advent of Islam in the 7th century, through an era of the appearance of European and Ottoman imperial powers in the Gulf, and the consolidation of the national identity under the Al-Khalifa family who have ruled Bahrain for the past two centuries. The second part of the book describes the development of the Bahrain Defence Force since the nation achieved full independence in 1971. The development of the Force is treated as the focus of the wider modernization of Bahrain. The author emphasizes two main themes: (1) that the essential process of modernization must be consistent with Bahrain's cultural and religious heritage, neither advancing too fast or too slowly and (2) that Bahrain, while remaining fiercely independent, will retain its traditional open-ness with its neighbours and brothers who share its heritage - first the fellow members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and then the wider Arab world.