History 439

The United States and Middle Eastern Wars

March 8, 2007


I. LBJ and the Middle East
            1. Kennedy and Iran (tensions between realism and idealism; US approach; Shah’s response; origins of White Revolution)

            2. LBJ, Congress, and Foreign Policy (formal decision-making posture; domestic focus; role of Congress; effects of Vietnam)

            3. The Politics of Arms Sales (LBJ goals—domestic pressure; Israeli goals; role of Jordan)


II. Six-Day War

            1. The Background (Israel, Syria, and water diplomacy; attacks from Golan Heights; Syria and Palestinian terror; Samu raid and international response; Nasser’s agenda—difficulties with Yemen, bid for leadership in Arab world, bad military advice?; LBJ response—distractions from Vietnam, will US be guarantor?; Soviet role—increasing support for Syria, Soviet fleet to Eastern Mediterranean; intimidating Israel and Eshkol delay?; effects on Israel and Jordan)

2. The Conflict (importance of IAF, Jordanian decision to intervene; Egyptian collapse in Sinai; attack on USS Liberty, capture of Golan Heights)

            3. The Aftermath (Cold War comes to the Middle East—Soviet decision to resupply Egypt, increasing ties USR-Syria and USSR-Iraq; Israel and occupied territories: land for peace?, Gaza, and West Bank, Jerusalem, Israeli justifications for expansion; UN 242; strengthening of PLO; U.S. passivity)


III. A Realigned Middle East

            1. Nixon and Sadat (Nixon, Kissinger, and transforming international affairs: Vietnamization—from “peace with honor” to a “decent internal”; opening to China and triumph of realpolitik; where does Middle East fit in?, Kissinger/Rogers tensions; Sadat and creation of anti-Israel alliance—importance of Iraq and Libya, resumption of relations with Syria, squeezing Jordan)

            2. The Conflict (outbreak of war and Israeli intelligence failure; legacy of preemption; Egyptian and Syrian advances; failure of mediation and US decision to airlift; reversal of fortunes; path to cease-fire)

            3. After-effects (Sadat and the Soviets: path to Camp David; fall of Meir government and path of Likud; US decisionmaking structure and renewed questions about Nixon; origins of OPEC diplomacy and transformation of Middle East)