The Post-Brezhnev Interregnum

  • Efraim Karsh


Upon his accession to power in mid-November 1982, Yuri Andropov was confronted by two interconnected adverse ramifications of the 1982 War: on the one hand, the Israeli and American forces in Lebanon and the resultant pressure on the Lebanese regime to conclude a separate peace treaty with Israel, and, on the other, America’s efforts to bring about a comprehensive Arab-Israeli settlement along the lines of the Reagan Plan. In order to overcome these problems, Andropov moved resolutely and swiftly along his predecessor’s path. Having concluded a new large-scale arms deal with Syria as early as November 1982,1 he rapidly carried out Brezhnev’s pledge (given during Asad’s visit to Moscow in late June 1982) to dispatch Soviet air defence units to Syria: in late 1982 Israeli and American intelligence services detected preparations for the instalment of two Soviet-manned SAM-5 surface-to-air missile brigades in Syria and by January 1983 these units had already been deployed in the Damascus and Horns areas.


Middle East Arab World Arab State Israeli Defence Force Peace Settlement 
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  1. 29.
    Seale, Asad, p. 358. See also R. O. Freedman, ‘Moscow, Damascus, and the Lebanese Crisis of 1982–1984’, Middle East Review, vol. 17, no. 1 (Fall 1984) p. 35.Google Scholar
  2. 49.
    Indeed, in late 1984 the Soviets signed an arms deal with Jordan. L. C. Napper, ‘The Arab Autumn of 1984: A Case Study of Soviet Middle East Diplomacy’, Middle East Journal, vol. 39, no. 4 (Autumn 1985) p. 743.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Efraim Karsh 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Efraim Karsh
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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