Changing Military Perspectives in the Middle East.

by J. C. Hurewitz

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Examination of the Arab-Israel conflict in terms of the superpowers' military diplomacy. Because of increased rivalry for prestige and influence in the Middle East, particularly since 1955, the superpowers have tried to sway the external policies of their military clients by regulating the type, volume, and cost of their arms exports. Manipulation of arms transfers enabled the superpowers to improve their immediate political influence in individual countries, but also exacerbated the regional frictions and intensified the Arab-Israel dispute. It also created special opportunities for the USSR and problems for the United States, since Arab public opinion was conditioned by the policies toward Israel, toward Britain, and by France's residual imperial position in the Arab area. Both the U.S. and Soviet Mediterranean fleets labor under restraints that limit the rivalry. Yet, without mutually agreed-on rules for superpower competition, the regional disputants are able to play off both powers against each other. 60 pp. Ref

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