Soviet Policy towards Egypt and Syria since Camp David

  • Helena Cobban


A survey of the Soviet Union’s relations with, and Soviet analysts’ discussions of, Egypt and Syria in the decade 1978 through 1988 can reveal a number of different themes in Soviet foreign policymaking. It can illustrate shifts in the balance between the factors of ideology and realpolitik in Soviet decision-making (as it can, too, between different components of realpolitik such as the economic, the political, and the purely military). It can also illustrate the extent to which shifts in the bilateral superpower relationship percolate down into the Soviet Union’s relations with significant third world actors, and the interaction between these two levels of policymaking.


Middle East Socialist Orientation Peace Process Israel Defense Force Soviet Policy 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    For an account of Soviet relations with Egypt and Syria in the early 1970s, see Robert O. Freedman, Soviet Policy toward the Middle East since 1970 (New York and London: Praeger, 1975).Google Scholar
  2. Karen Dawisha, Soviet Foreign Policy towards Egypt (London: Macmillan, 1979)Google Scholar
  3. Alvin Z. Rubinstein, Red Star on the Nile; The Soviet-Egyptian Influence Relationship since the June War (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1977).Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    Raymond L. Garthoff, Detente and Confrontation (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1985) p. 591.Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    For a concise account of developments throughout this watershed, see Gordon R. Weihmiller and Dusko Doder, US-Soviet Summits; An Account of East—West Diplomacy at the Top, 1955–1985 (Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and Lanham, Md.: University Press of America, 1986) pp. 109–19.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    For details of the Israeli-Syrian engagements in 1982, see Yair Evron, War and Intervention in Lebanon; The Israeli—Syrian Deterrence Dialogue (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987) chapter 4.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    For details of these events, see Dawisha, Soviet Foreign Policy, pp. 54-82; and Mohrez Mahmoud El Hussini, Soviet—Egyptian Relations, 1945–85 (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1987) pp. 191–211.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    Elizabeth Kridl Valkenier, ‘Revolutionary Change in the Third World: Recent Soviet Assessments’, in World Politics (April 1986) vol. XXXVIII, no. 3, p. 415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 18.
    K.N. Brutents, Sovremennye natsional’no-osvoboditel’nye revolutsii (Moscow: Politizdat, 1974) vol. 2.Google Scholar
  10. Jerry F. Hough, The Struggle for the Third World; Soviet Debates and American Options (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1986).Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    K.N. Brutents, National Liberation Revolutions Today (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977) vol. 2, pp. 127–8.Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    K.N. Brutents, The Newly-Free Countries in the Seventies (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1983) p. 95Google Scholar
  13. 30.
    Michael MccGwire, Military Objectives in Soviet Foreign Policy (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1987) p. 215.Google Scholar
  14. 32.
    Y.M. Primakov, Anatomy of the Middle East Conflict (Moscow: Nauka, 1979Google Scholar
  15. 35.
    Y.M. Primakov, Istoriya odnogo sqovora (History of a deal — in Russian) (Moscow: Politizdat, 1985) p. 314.Google Scholar
  16. 36.
    E.M. Primakov, ‘Soviet Policy Toward the Arab—Israeli Conflict’, in William B. Quandt (ed.), The Middle East since Camp David (Washington: Brookings, 1988) p. 387.Google Scholar
  17. 39.
    For some of the Soviet lessons learned in 1982, see Helena Cobban, ‘The Air-Defense Lessons of the Lebanese War of June 1982; The Soviet View’, in David R. Jones (ed.), Soviet Armed Forces Review Annual, Vol. 10, 1985–1986 (Miami, Florida: Academic International Press, 1988) pp. 257–70.Google Scholar
  18. 40.
    Francis Fukuyama. Moscow’s Post-Brezhnev Reassessment of the Third World (Santa Monica: RAND, 1986) p. 67.Google Scholar
  19. 43.
    Melvin Goodman, in Helena Cobban (ed.), Military Dimensions of Soviet Middle East Policy (College Park, Md.: Center for International Security Studies, 1988) p. 45.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hafeez Malik 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helena Cobban

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