'The USA and the USSR intervened in the Middle East in the period 1956 to 1979 purely to preserve political and economic stability in the region.' How valid do you think this view is?
Published: March 19, 2017
The USA and the USSR intervention in the middle east changed with time. In 1956 to 1973 all events were looked through the lens of cold war politics. The Americans were outraged when President Nasser of Egypt signed a deal with Czechoslovakia to supply arms (soviet arms). It was seen as increasing communist influence in the middle east. Recent research has revealed that there was a secret Anglo-American plan to overthrow Nasser by using political and economic pressure. Also, the British Chancellor of the exchequer, Harold Macmillan, ensured Eden, the British PM, that the USA will not oppose British action in Suez. However, in the turn of events and worldwide unfavorable opinion of Anglo-French and Israel action, the USA and the USSR came together demanded an immediate ceasefire and agreed to send the UN forces.
During the buildup of 1967 Arab-Israel war, the USSR encouraged Syria and Egypt to carry on anti-Israel propaganda. This was also based on cold war politics as Israel was a US ally. The USSR wanted to increase her influence in the middle east at the expense of the USA. Their supply of arms to middle east countries also increased, especially Syria and Egypt.
After the death of President Nasser, Anwar Sadat came to power. He wanted a peaceful settlement with Israel. For this, he was ready to work with both the USA and the USSR. However, the USA refused to interfere. Then came the Yom Kippur war of 1973. This time both the superpowers decided to intervene and try to bring a peace settlement. President Carter of the USA played a vital role in setting a formal negotiation between Egypt and Israel. This negotiation ended in success. The state of war which existed since 1948 war ended. But any effort by the USA to bring the PLO and Israel on the negotiation table failed.
So there Is some validity in the statement given in question that the USA and the USSR intervened in the middle east to preserve the economic and political stability. But ‘purely’ for this cause is an exaggeration.
Model Questions Category: 013 - Cold War and Other Major Events of 20th Century