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Download Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East (The New Cold War History) epub

by Salim Yaqub

Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, the United States pledged to give increased economic and military aid to receptive Middle Eastern countries and to protect--with U.S. armed forces if necessary--the territorial integrity and political independence of these nations from the threat of "international Communism." Salim Yaqub demonstrates that although the United States officially aimed to protect the Middle East from Soviet encroachment, the Eisenhower Doctrine had the unspoken mission of containing the radical Arab nationalism of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom Eisenhower regarded as an unwitting agent of Soviet expansionism. By offering aid and protection, the Eisenhower administration hoped to convince a majority of Arab governments to side openly with the West in the Cold War, thus isolating Nasser and decreasing the likelihood that the Middle East would fall under Soviet domination.Employing a wide range of recently declassified Egyptian, British, and American archival sources, Yaqub offers a dynamic and comprehensive account of Eisenhower's efforts to counter Nasserism's appeal throughout the Arab Middle East. Challenging interpretations of U.S.-Arab relations that emphasize cultural antipathies and clashing values, Yaqub instead argues that the political dispute between the United States and the Nasserist movement occurred within a shared moral framework--a pattern that continues to characterize U.S.-Arab controversies today.
Download Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East (The New Cold War History) epub
ISBN: 0807855081
ISBN13: 978-0807855089
Category: Other
Subcategory: Humanities
Author: Salim Yaqub
Language: English
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (March 15, 2004)
Pages: 392 pages
ePUB size: 1326 kb
FB2 size: 1172 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 812
Other Formats: docx txt lit rtf

In "Containing Arab Nationalism," Salim Yaqub provides a remarkably in-depth look at U.S. policy in the Middle East during the mid to late 1950s and how it changed in the aftermath of the Suez Crisis. The main theme explored here deals with the increased level of U.S. influence in the context of the Cold War and how the U.S. reacted to Britain's changing role in the region. The narrative that Yaqub presents shows that the U.S. could not have been more serious about keeping Soviet influence out of the Middle East, but that the Eisenhower administration wasn't always confident in the methods employed to achieve this goal. In the end, the administration adapted its policies in such a way that the Soviets never gained the type of stronghold in the region that the U.S. feared, but Yaqub demonstrates that this was by no means an easy task.

The time period covered in the book is short, but Yaqub explores the crucial years of 1956-1960 with remarkable depth. The major events of these years, such as the interventions in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as the Iraqi revolution are all delicately woven into the overall narrative of how the Cold War affected Western policy towards the region. Yaqub's writing style is superb, and the book is extensively researched. This book should be at the top of the list of students and scholars alike that wish to achieve a greater understanding of recent Middle Eastern history and how those countries interacted with the United States.
When speaking of the clash between the United States and the U.S.S.R. we usually think of the clashes in Europe and Asia. This is rightly so, however Salim Yaqub draws us back into the reality that the Cold War touched more places than Berlin and Hanoi but also Beirut and Baghdad. This brilliant showcase of U.S.-Arab relations enables us to look into a region that is so often misunderstood and see the impact that the Eisenhower administration had on the region at the time and in the decades to follow. Yaqub highlights the shift of influence from the French and British to the Americans. He shows how the Eisenhower administration was seeking to fight communism as best it could and the steps they took to do so. Yaqub does a fantastic job of connecting the dots between policy and outcome. How just one decision made in Syria has had a profound impact on that country even today. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in American policy, history or even current events that pertain to the Middle East.
In this excellent book, Salim Yaqub, in a manner that is both highly informative and very engaging, discusses US policy towards the Arab world and the Arab responses between roughly late 1956 and late 1958, covering the rise and fall of the "Eisenhower Doctrine." Yaqub shows how the US squandered the reserve of goodwill which it had gained from steadfast opposition to the UK/French/Israeli attack on Egypt during the Suez crisis, by trying to enlist the Arabs in the struggle against the Communist menace in the Middle East. US foreign policy in the hands of ideologues such as John Foster Dulles challenged Nasser's regional ascendancy, yet Washington was too often unable to distinguish between Arab nationalism and Communist subversion. Eisenhower overrated his own ability to "build up" conservative Arab allies like King Saud of Saudi Arabia, and consistently underestimated Nasser's popularity in the Middle East. The policy unraveled, when, faced with increasing regional instability, which climaxed with the Iraqi revolution of July 1958 and the US intervention in Lebanon, Washington at last saw the virtues of engaging with Nasser on his own terms.

Yaqub did a great job "connecting the dots." Readers are treated to a "big picture" - the only picture that makes sense. The book recounts how what happened in Egypt or Syria had immediate ramifications for Jordan, Iraq or Lebanon, and vice versa; how clumsy policy mistakes in one part of the Middle Eastern theatre translated into broad and often unpredictable implications for the entire region. This multi-level, multi-faceted account is helped by Yaqub's reliance on a wealth of archival sources, including the Egyptian records. On the other hand, the Soviet angle is largely missing from the picture; the reasons for - and limits of - Nasser's frustration with Moscow are only superficially addressed, as are Khrushchev's ambitions in the Middle East. This makes is difficult to judge why Nasser adopted a somewhat more conciliatory attitude towards the United States, an attitude that itself played into the re-appraisal of US foreign policy in the final years of the Eisenhower Administration. I also kept wondering, as I read the book, what role the Israelis played in the evolution of US policy: this angle is also left largely unexplored.

In the introduction and the conclusion, Yaqub tackles the deeper reasons for US-Arab antagonism. He sees no ground for the "conflict of civilizations" thesis; for him, the Americans and the Arabs share the same set of values, it is their interests that do not coincide. The clash of interests - not a clash of values - underpinned US disagreements with Nasser and other regional players in the 1950s. This analysis, however, raises the question of where broader imperatives of ideology, for the Americans or for the Arabs, may have conditioned perceptions of interest, and if they did, what is the relationship between value systems and ideologies. Exploring this relationship will help us understand why US-Arab antagonism has come so far as to sustain the prevailing perception that we are faced, in fact, with a clash of civilizations.