This book examines Anglo-American defense policies in the Middle East between 1945 and 1955 and the attempts of these two Western powers to contain the Soviet expansion towards the region. It does not attempt to offer a comprehensive history of British and American policies in the Middle East. Instead, it examines those policies with a particular focus on the problems of Middle East defense. It also seeks to determine the aims behind the proposals of Middle East Command, Middle East Defense Organization Northern, Tier Defence Concept, and Baghdad Pact, their failings, and the struggle that was undertaken against them by hostile countries, such as Egypt, India, and the Soviet Union. It examines the events surrounding their formation, development, and collapse. Furthermore, it examines the policies of the regional countries, namely Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq. Thus, it poses the questions of how the participating countries perceived the question of Middle East defense, what their basic aims were, and what problems they faced while trying to achieve these aims and implementing their chosen solutions.
Behçet Kemal Yeşilbursa is professor in the Department of History at Bursa Uludağ University.
Chapter 1: Middle East Command (MEC)
Chapter 2: Middle East Defence Organisation (MEDO)
Chapter 3: Dulles’s Northern Tier Defence Concept
Chapter 4: Turco-Pakistani Agreement
Chapter 5: Attempts to Recruit Iraq to the Turco-Pakistani Agreement
Chapter 6: Nuri Said’s and Menderes’s Search to Form a Defence Pact
Chapter 7: Formation of the Baghdad Pact
Chapter 8: Decline of the Baghdad Pact
This important new study convincingly analyses the divergent policies behind the Anglo-American attempts to create collective defence structures in the Middle East after World War II. For the British these were part of increasingly desperate attempts to maintain their own military presence in the region, while the Americans preferred an alliance with independent partners in the region. The Suez Crisis marked the definitive failure of the British attempts, while the American attitude also allowed Turkey to become a full member of NATO rather than be part of the contested space between the superpowers that was the Middle East.
This is an industrious and perceptive analysis of a formative period in the history of the modern Middle East. It casts a new light on the role of the special Anglo-American pact during the days of the Cold War.
This critical and original analysis exposes the tensions between the two allies on the one hand and provides a persuasive analysis of the failed policies toward the Arab world; a failure that triggered processes that impact the lives of millions in the region until today.
This is a history for our times: one that anyone wishes to understand the place of the Middle East in world politics must read.
This is a work of exhaustive and meticulous scholarship. The changing relationship between a declining Britain and a rising United States is well-known. The same goes for the changing fortunes of Middle Eastern nations. But for policymakers, events were unpredictable, complex and of vital interest, all against a background of perceived Soviet threat, rising regional nationalism and important oil reserves. Turkey, a rising Western power in the Middle East, played an important part. Professor Yeşilbursa’s lucid account will be of great value to historians, but also to today’s policymakers, lest they forget that the best laid plans can go awry.