From Cooperation to Confrontation: the Unveiling of the Alpha Plan

Part of the St Antony’s Series book series


Following the Gaza raid, the Eisenhower administration finally unveiled the Alpha Plan and sought to remove the last obstacle to effective incorporation of the Middle East into its global alliance network. The deteriorating regional trends and the arrival of the presidential election season made the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict particularly urgent. The moment seemed inauspicious, as Egypt sought to facilitate the rise of its pan-Arabist aspirations through a three-track diplomacy of establishing an anti-Iraqi pact, participating in Third World nonalignment groupings, and cultivating a closer relationship with the Soviet Union to obtain weapons that were not forthcoming from the Western bloc. The American and Egyptian policy tracks were simply on a collision course whose magnitude became fully obvious in March 1956. By then, the once promising hope of building the containment walls in the Middle East by guiding Egypt dissipated as the United States moved to a more decisive alignment with the conservative forces in the region.


Middle East Arab World Arab State American Policy Egyptian Regime 
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Copyright information

© Ray Takeyh 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA

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