Our friend Curzon, at Coming Anarchy has a post up about the little-discussed role of Oman as a trusted middle man in the Persian Gulf, with the recent hostage release being only one example of this role. An earlier post on the personal life of the Sultan provoked an interesting discussion.
You don’t see much written about Oman. One book I would like to read is Ian Gardiner, In the Service of the Sultan: A First Hand Account of the Dhofar Insurgency. The Dhofar conflict was a rare example of a successful counterinsurgency campaign, yet you don’t hear much about it. Jan Morris’ book about the current Sultan’s father is also on my heartbreakingly, impossibly long “list” of books I’d like to read.
I will mention here that Coming Anarchy is a favorite of mine, which I commend to your attention. Curzon’s recent move to Dubai has led to many good posts about the region.