The United States’ Cold War Priorities and the Middle East, 1945–53

Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


This study advances the claim that US policy toward the Middle East derived from a Cold War outlook that ultimately proved irreconcilable with the direction of Egypt’s policy. At a time of intense Cold War confrontation, the US was determined to mobilize the Middle East for the task of containment. A globalist Eisenhower administration sought to exert influence over credible nationalists in order to expedite America’s security vision. Egypt would be the key to the Middle East conundrum, for if Egypt exerted her considerable powers in the right direction, the doctrine of containment would be implemented easily. However, in the aftermath of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the objectives of Cairo would defy the US Cold War paradigm. This was the age of Arab nationalism, since the ideals of progressive reform and independence resonated through a region that was recently humiliated by the state of Israel. Nasser’s Egypt successfully appealed to the Arab nationalists’ desire for greater unity and elimination of external influence as a means of establishing its area hegemony. In the 1950s, Egypt would embody the Arab masses’ hopes and calls for the construction of a new society.


Middle East Arab World Foreign Minister Arab State British Establishment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 4.
    Walter Hixson, George Kennan: Cold War Iconoclast (New York, 1989), 24–45;Google Scholar
  2. Andres Stephanson, Kennan and the Art of Foreign Policy (Cambridge, 1989), 45–53.Google Scholar
  3. 11.
    S.F. Wells, ‘Sounding the Tocsin: NSC-68 and the Soviet Threat’, International Security (Spring 1979).Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    Walter LaFeber, America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945–1950 (New York, 1991), 96.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    Barry Rubin, The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict (Syracuse, 1981), 217.Google Scholar
  6. 33.
    Robert Tucker, The Soviet Mind: Studies in Stalinism and Post-Stalin Change (New York, 1963), 30–35;Google Scholar
  7. Jerry Hough, The Struggle for the Third World: Soviet Debates and American Options (New York, 1985).Google Scholar
  8. 36.
    Andrew Berding, Dulles on Diplomacy (Princeton, 1965), 130–2.Google Scholar
  9. 41.
    Hanson Baldwin, ‘Strategy for the Middle East’, Foreign Affairs (July 1957): 655;Google Scholar
  10. Philip Groisser, The United States and the Middle East (New York, 1982), 23.Google Scholar
  11. 42.
    Steven Spiegel, The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict (Chicago, 1985), 51.Google Scholar
  12. 59.
    K.H. Karpat, Political and Social Thought in the Contemporary Middle East (New York, 1982);Google Scholar
  13. Ernest Dawn, ‘The Formation of Pan-Arab Ideology in the Interwar Years’, International Journal of Middle East Studies (October, 1992);Google Scholar
  14. Y. Porath, In Search of Arab Unity, 1930–1945 (London, 1986);Google Scholar
  15. Leonard Binder, ‘The Middle East as a Subordinate International Subsystem’, World Politics (April 1958);Google Scholar
  16. Simon Bromley, Rethinking Middle East Politics (Cambridge, 1994), 6–45;Google Scholar
  17. Roger Owen, ‘Arab Nationalism, Arab Unity and Arab Solidarity’, in Talal Asad and Roger Owen (eds), The Middle East: Sociology of Developing Societies (London, 1983), 16;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Michael Hudson, Arab Politics: the Search for Legitimacy (New Haven, 1977), 82–107.Google Scholar
  19. 60.
    Mahmoud Haddad, ‘The Rise of Arab Nationalism Reconsidered’, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (May 1994): 205–7;Google Scholar
  20. Feroz Ahmad, ‘War and Society under the Young Turks, 1908–1918’, Review (Spring 1988) also The Young Turks: the Committee of Union and Progress in Turkish Politics (London, 1989);Google Scholar
  21. Albert Hourani, ‘The Ottoman Background of the Modern Middle East’, in Kemal Karpat (ed.), The Ottoman State and its Place in World History (Leiden, 1974);Google Scholar
  22. Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modem Turkey (Oxford, 1963), 327–30;Google Scholar
  23. Elie Kedourie, Arabic Political Memoirs and Other Studies (London, 1974), 124–62;Google Scholar
  24. Serif Mardin, The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought: a Study in the Modernization of Turkish Political Ideas (Princeton, 1962).Google Scholar
  25. 61.
    E. Be’eri, Army Officers in Arab Politics and Society (London, 1970), 286–300;Google Scholar
  26. Bernard Lewis, The Middle East and the West (Bloomington, 1965), 40.Google Scholar
  27. 66.
    James Bill, ‘Class Analysis and the Dialectics of Modernization in the Middle East’, International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (Spring 1972): 433.Google Scholar
  28. 97.
    Mohammad Heikal, Cutting the Lion’s Tail: Suez through Egyptian Eyes (New York, 1987), 40.Google Scholar
  29. 101.
    Isaac Alteras, Eisenhower and Israel: U.S. Israeli Relations, 1953–1960 (Gainesville, 1993), 69–72;Google Scholar
  30. David Schoenbaum, The United States and the State of Israel (Oxford, 1993), 94–5.Google Scholar
  31. 111.
    Diane Kunz, The Economic Diplomacy of the Suez Crisis (Chapel Hill, 1991), 30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ray Takeyh 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations