The October 1973 Middle East War transformed the region’s politics and had a huge impact on the international political system as a whole. Arguments about the causes, effects, and meaning of the war and about why it ran its course the way it did have played a key role in shaping the understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict, of American policy in the Middle East, and of many other major issues. For the 50th anniversary of the war, this book grapples with these issues in an objective way by using the mass of declassified material that has recently become available.
Galen Jackson, the editor of the volume, is an assistant professor of political science at Williams College, where he teaches courses in international relations, international security, American foreign policy, nuclear weapons, cybersecurity, the international relations of the Middle East, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He has published articles on the Arab-Israeli dispute in a number of scholarly journals, including International Security, Security Studies, the Journal of Cold War Studies, Middle East Journal, and Diplomacy & Statecraft. His book manuscript, A Lost Peace: Great Power Politics and the Arab-Israeli Dispute, 1967-1979, will be published in April 2023.
Risa Brooks is Allis Chalmers Professor of Political Science at Marquette University, Senior
Fellow at West Point’s Modern War Institute, and a Non-Resident Fellow in the International Security Program at New America in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Shaping Strategy: The Civil-Military Politics of Strategic Assessment (2008). She is an expert on the Middle East and North Africa, and has written about Egyptian military reforms during the period that preceded the October 1973 Middle East War.
Khaled Elgindy is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, where he directs the Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs. He is the author of Blind Spot: America and the
Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump (2019). He previously served as a fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution from 2010 through 2018. Prior to arriving at
Brookings, he served as an adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004 to 2009, and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations of 2007-2008. He is also an adjunct instructor in Arab Studies at Georgetown University.
Raymond Hinnebusch is professor of International Relations and Middle East Politics at
the University of St. Andrews and Founder and Director of the Centre for Syrian Studies.
His works include Authoritarian Power and State Formation in Ba’thist Syria (1990) and Syria: Revolution from Above (2001). He is the co-editor of Syria: From Reform to Revolt (2014); The Syria Uprising: Domestic Factors and Early Trajectory (2018); The War for Syria: Regional and International Factors in the Syrian Conflict (2019), and the author of “The Foreign Policy of Syria,” in The Foreign Policies of Middle Eastern States (2014).
Yigal Kipnis is an Israeli historian who researches the settlement geography and political history of Israel. He has written several books, including The Mountain That Was as a Monster: The Golan Between Syria and Israel, Hebrew (2009); The Golan Heights: Political History, Settlement and Geography since 1949 (2013); and 1973: The Road to War (2013).
Jeremy Pressman is a professor of political science at the University of Connecticut. He studies international relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle East politics, and American foreign policy. He is the author of numerous articles and books about international politics and the
Middle East, including Warring Friends: Alliance Restraint in International Politics (2008) and The Sword Is Not Enough: Arabs, Israelis, and the Limits of Military Force (2020).
William Quandt is professor emeritus in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia. He previously served as a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and on the National Security Council staff in the Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter administrations. He was actively involved in the negotiations that led to the Camp David Accords and the Egyptian–Israeli peace treaty, and was an adviser to Henry Kissinger during the October 1973 Middle East War. He has published many works on U.S. Middle East policy and the Arab-Israeli dispute. His book Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 1967 (2005) is generally considered to be the most important, and most reliable, general work on the subject.
Marc Trachtenberg is a research professor of political science at UCLA. An historian by training, he is the author of many scholarly works dealing mostly with twentieth century international politics. A collection of his articles, The Cold War and After: History, Theory, and the Logic of International Politics in 2012. Jerome Slater is professor emeritus of political science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has published a number of books and many articles about the United States and the Arab-Israeli conflict, in outlets such as International Security, Middle East Policy, and Political Science Quarterly. His most recent book is Mythologies Without End: The US, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1917-2020 (2020).
Table of Contents
Introduction: The October 1973 Arab-Israeli War—Looking Back 50 Years Later - William B. Quandt
Chapter 1: The October 1973 War: Culmination of the Failure of Political Analysis - Yigal Kipnis
Chapter 2: Egypt’s Military Effectiveness in the October War - Risa Brooks
Chapter 3: Self-Inflicted Wound? Henry Kissinger and the Ending of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War - Galen Jackson and Marc Trachtenberg
Chapter 4: Syria and the 1973 Arab-Israeli War - Raymond Hinnebusch
Chapter 5: The Impact of the October 1973 War on the Palestinians - Khaled Elgindy
Chapter 6: The Cold War and Oil: Paving the Way to a US-Led Peace Process - Jeremy Pressman
Conclusion - Jerome Slater
About the Contributors
Despite being a pivotal event, the 1973 war has received far less academic attention than its predecessors, the 1948 and 1967 wars. This volume strongly contributes to making amends through thoroughly addressing some of the core questions surrounding the war.
Jackson’s edited volume provides a seminal view of the flawed perceptions that led to the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, reexamining superpower détente, the nuclear dimension and the U.S. role in shaping the outcome of that clash. Based extensively on archival material, these six chapters offer new insights into Israeli decision making, the recasting of the Egyptian army, the scope of Syria’s strategic goals and the impact of the war upon the Palestinians.
Galen Jackson’s edited volume features powerful and illuminating contributions to our understanding of the logics that drove the Arab states to act, that led the Golda Meir government to prefer war to the political risks of peace, and that blocked promising diplomatic opportunities for the United States and the Soviet Union to achieve the Arab-Israeli peace that has proven so elusive ever since.