chapter  8
8 Pages


The Soviet Military as the Chief Proponent of a Forward Policy in the Arab East
ByIlana Kass

The decision to commit Soviet personnel to the UAR’s defense, coinciding as it did with a change in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s approach toward the “progressive” Arab regimes, created a unity of purpose among the Pravda, Izvestiia and Krasnaia zvezda groups. The Soviet military might have hoped that the treaty would exert pressure on Israel and make it feasible to extort concessions from them. The military presumably hoped to be able to use the threat of military power included in the treaty to advance Soviet goals without the need of actually committing this power to battle over the Middle East. The military press not only continued to manifest its interest in the Middle East, but also went to great pains to stress the continuous vitality of the Soviet-Arab alliance. On this basis one may further surmise that the disenchantment reflects the creation and ascendancy of a coalition opposing any further commitment to the Arabs.