Arms Transfers, Great Power Intervention, and Settlement of the Arab-Israeli Conflict.

by Abraham S. Becker

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Discusses four groups of conference papers, focusing on the linkages between arms transfers to the Middle East, great power intervention in the region, and settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Arms transfers burden the recipient economies, but the effects on regional stability in terms of changes in the probability of war are not obvious. On the other hand, recent arguments advanced in favor of the stabilizing role of arms transfers are unconvincing. Great power intervention has been heavily affected by arms transfers since 1956. Interaction between the powers seems to be characterized by operation according to "rules of the game," but not mechanically or automatically. By the nature of their competition and their relations with clients, the great powers cannot jointly bring peace to the region. Only if their competition is severely restricted or removed from the Arab-Israeli arena is any settlement likely to endure. (Presented at conference on Great Powers' Military and Strategic Involvement in the Middle East, Cornell University, April 1977.) 25 pp. Ref.

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