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Contesting Arabism: the Eisenhower Doctrine and the Arab Middle East, 1956-1959.

This talk is on the Eisenhower Doctrine, the Middle East policy that the United States followed in 1957 and 1958. In the Suez war of late 1956, Britain had ignominiously failed to reverse Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal Company, and it was generally understood that Britain was finished as the preeminent Western power in the region. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles believed Britain's failure had lefi a power vacuum in the region, which they feared the Soviets would fill--through increased economic and military aid and closer political ties--unless the United States took action. So in early 1957 Eisenhower convinced Congress to pass a resolution authorizing the executive to offer increased military and economic aid to receptive Middle Eastern countries and to protect, with U.S. armed forces if necessary, the territorial integrity and political independence of such countries against "overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by International Communism." The policy was immediately dubbed the Eisenhower Doctrine.


Ostensibly, the Eisenhower Doctrine aimed at protecting the Middle East from Soviet encroachment; in this sense it was just a more specific application of the general containment doctrine. But it also sought to "contain" the radical Arab nationalism of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and to discredit his policy of "positive neutrality," or nonalignment in the Cold War. As Eisenhower and Dulles saw it, "positive neutrality" was neither. They believed Nasserism had grown so hostile to the West that it had become, perhaps unwittingly, a tool of Soviet expansionism; and rather than cooperate with Egypt, as it had done until recently, the U.S. should instead try to strengthen conservative Arab regimes and encourage their pro-Western tendencies. Through economic aid, military aid, and more explicit guarantees of American protection, the administration hoped to encourage such governments to side openly with the West in the Cold War, thus isolating Nasser and his radical supporters elsewhere in the region--for example in Syria, whose government had also moved to the left.

Over the next two years this policy was played out in a series of crises: in Jordan in the spring of 1957, in Syria the following summer and fall, and in Lebanon in the spring and summer of 1958. We already have excellent studies of each of these crises--some of them written by participants in this conference--and I will not attempt to recapitulate that work here. (1) Rather, I'll review the policy as a whole so as to explore its underlying political dynamics and to bring out some common features linking the various crises, connections that tend to get obscured when each crisis is studied on its own.

Essentially, what occurred in 1957 and 1958 was a political struggle between the United States and the Nasserist movement over the acceptable limits of Arabism, that is, over what should be seen as falling within the mainstream of Arab politics and what should be regarded as marginal or extreme. Each party--the United States on the one hand, the Nasserist movement on the other--tried to put together a broad coalition of Arab states that shared its basic foreign policy orientation. The challenge for each party was to define that orientation in such a way that those not sharing it would appear to be beyond the pale of acceptable Arabism. For the United States, the cardinal issue was "International Communism." If Arab audiences could be convinced that international communism was inimical to Arab interests, then those governments advocating "positive neutrality" in the Cold War could be marginalized. The Nasserist movement, for its part, focused on "Western imperialism," arguing that those governments with close ties to Britain or France (or, increasingly, the United States itself) were themselves outside the mainstream of Arab politics.

Now, one might wonder why the Eisenhower administration ever thought it could prevail in such a contest. After all, even though none of the Arab states was a democracy, Arab governments did have to consider domestic opinion, and it's hard to see. how Arab opinion could ever have been expected to oppose international communism as vehemently as it opposed Western imperialism. But Eisenhower and Dulles believed that the events of late 1956 had created a historic opportunity for the United States. By opposing British, French, and Israeli aggression in the Suez war, the United States had demonstrated that it was itself an anti-imperialist power, whereas the Soviet Union it had shown its true colors by brutally suppressing the Hungarian uprising. (2) Gratitude toward the Americans, and revulsion against the Soviets, would enable the United States to put together a majority coalition of pro-American, anti-communist Arab states, leaving Egypt and Syria with the grim choice of either joining that coalition or enduring isolation in the region. Or so Eisenhower and Dulles hoped.

The effort to isolate Nasserism did not succeed, and in 1958-1959 it was quietly abandoned. There were two main reasons for the Eisenhower Doctrine's failure. First, Eisenhower and Dulles had drastically overestimated America's political strength in the Arab world while underestimating that of Nasserism. Suez notwithstanding, the United States had no intention of repudiating its alliance with Britain and France or its support for Israel's existence and security; thus it could never gain the wholehearted support of Arab public opinion. Nasser's popularity, on the other hand, soared in the aftermath of Suez. Consequently, any Arab government seeking to align itself with U.S. Cold War policies, or to oppose Nasserist policies at American instigation, could be convincingly branded by Radio Cairo an "agent of imperialism."

Second, the conservative Arab leaders were unable or unwilling to play their assigned roles. Often, those leaders were too fearful of domestic opinion to take a strong stand in favor of the United States or against Nasserism; and even when they were prepared to take such a stand, they were too suspicious of each other to do so as a bloc. (A case in point was the bitter rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Hashemite Iraq.) Obviously, the conservative regimes were far less effective acting individually than they would have been acting collectively. And by 1958 the Eisenhower administration had come to see its Arab allies as more of a burden than an asset.

I'll now present a chronological narrative of the major crises associated with the Eisenhower. As I do so, I want to stress three points: first, that the Eisenhower Doctrine was more complex and sophisticated than previous scholars have proposed; second, that for all its sophistication it failed nonetheless; third, that the failure of the policy made it far. more dangerous than previously supposed.

The period of greatest success for the Eisenhower Doctrine was in the beginning of its run, during the first half of 1957. Although few Arab governments formally endorsed the new policy (Lebanon and Libya were the only ones to do so unconditionally), its underlying political strategy of bolstering and uniting the conservative states seemed to be working. In Jordan in April, when Jordanian insurgents backed by Egypt and Syria seemed poised to overthrow the monarchy, King Hussein thwarted the challenge by dismissing the cabinet, dissolving the parliament, declaring martial law, and arresting or exiling his political opponents. The United States showed its solidarity with Hussein by sending the Sixth Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean. Also supporting Hussein were Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which found they had a common interest in rescuing the Jordanian monarchy. Hussein's victory sent a surge of euphoria through the ranks of conservative Arab regimes, which became more assertive in criticizing Egypt and Syria. Arab radicals suddenly found themselves on the defensive. (3)

From the evidence available in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry archives, it appears that the resurgence of conservative Arab forces brought about a period of self-criticism within the Nasserist camp. In May 1957 Nasserist Jordanian parliamentarians, now exiled in Damascus, admitted to Syrian and Egyptian officials that the Jordanian left had overplayed its hand, giving "Hussein sufficient excuses for implementing his plan" of declaring martial law. They also complained that Egyptian propaganda attacks in the wake of Hussein's victory were alienating Jordanian moderates "who might be won over to our side." Syrian President Shukri al-Quwatli went further, suggesting to Egyptian Ambassador to Egypt Mahmud Riad that Hussein himself was not beyond salvaging. "[I]s it advisable," al-Quwatli wondered, "that some newspapers, especially Syrian ones, continue to attack Hussein personally and with such great severity?... King Hussein has won the battle for now by striking at the popular forces, and ... it might be advisable to work in every way to prevent him from being swept entirely in a direction contrary to us, and to work to stop him at this point and to try to gain time." Weeks later, al-Quwatli told Riad that it would be better for Syria "to delay for as long as possible manifestations of hostility" toward conservative Arab regimes generally, as this would keep Syria from having to fight on too many fronts at once; Riad agreed with al-Quwatli's assessment. (4)

Whether or not this was part of a coordinated strategy, in June and July 1957 Egypt and Syria did work to mend fences with pro-West Arab regimes, and their efforts had the effect of softening up the emerging conservative alliance. Egypt and Syria were aided by the fact that the Iraqi and Saudi governments themselves favored an easing of inter-Arab tensions. In June the Iraqi premiership passed to 'Ali Jawdat al-Ayyubi, a pragmatic conservative who believed that the Iraqi regime's domestic position would be strengthened by more cordial relations with Egypt and Syria. Meanwhile, King Saud was growing disillusioned with U.S. policy, which was turning out to be more supportive of Israel than he had hoped. So Iraq and Saudi Arabia enjoyed a modest rapprochement with the radical camp. King Hussein was too embittered by the events of April to follow suit, but this was not a problem for Egypt and Syria: now both countries could portray Hussein as standing outside the Arab mainstream and step up their propaganda attacks on him with relative impunity. In early August the U.S. ambassador in Amman complained that "King Saud appears more quiescent in his support of Hussein.... Iraq also appears to be leaving Hussein to hold the bag." (5)

These maneuverings stood the radical Arab camp in good stead for the next major crisis in the Arab world--the Syrian crisis of the summer and fall of 1957. Ironically, though, the crisis itself came about due to disarray within the Syrian government. The conciliatory posture I just mentioned represented only one facet of Syrian foreign policy, which was being contested by several competing factions. In early August a pro-Soviet faction temporarily gained the upper hand and rushed through a far-reaching economic agreement with the Soviet Union, deeply alarming U.S. officials. Days later, the Eisenhower administration supported an effort by disgruntled Syrian officers to overthrow the Damascus regime. Syrian authorities quickly uncovered the plot and harshly denounced the United States for meddling in Syrian affairs. The exposure of the plot also allowed pro-Soviet figures to strengthen their position within the Syrian regime and to conduct a purge of their pro-West colleagues. (6)

Convinced that Syria was about to become a Soviet satellite, and that internal efforts to prevent this were now futile, the Eisenhower administration devised a regional remedy. The idea was for Syria's conservative Arab neighbors to find or manufacture some pretext--a border incident, perhaps--to launch a military assault on Syria resulting in the overthrow of the Damascus regime. Preferably the Arab states would be able to accomplish this mission on their own; if not, Turkey could lend its assistance. (7)

But the United States was unable to engineer a collective Arab attack on Syria, mainly because it had failed to anticipate the extent of opposition to such action within the conservative Arab camp itself. Here is where Egypt's and Syria's diplomatic efforts earlier that summer paid off. Both King Saud and 'Ali Jawdat, the Iraqi prime minister, were gratified by their improved relations with the radical camp, which had given their regimes a respite from Egyptian and Syrian propaganda attacks. And, while both Saud and Jawdat were alarmed by Syria's drift toward the Soviet orbit, neither was willing to take forceful action reverse it. Now it's true that the Iraqi palace strongly favored military action against Syria and was constitutionally empowered to dismiss the prime minister. But the monarchy was reluctant to take this step, probably for fear of causing domestic unrest. As for the two remaining conservative Arab states in the vicinity--Jordan and Lebanon--both were prepared to support military action against Syria but Were far too weak to initiate it on their own. (8)

Turkey, however, was both willing and able to move against Syria and in early September began mobilizing troops on the Turkish-Syrian border. This posed a serious dilemma for the United States. As I mentioned, U.S. officials had contemplated Turkish intervention in support of an existing Arab operation, but they strongly opposed unilateral Turkish action. In the latter event, U.S. officials feared, the conservative Arab regimes would be politically obliged to side with Syria against non-Arab Turkey. On the other hand, the Eisenhower administration was loath to pressure the Turks to stand down, for fear of causing them to lose confidence in the Western alliance. So for several weeks the administration declined to restrain Turkey, clinging to the vain hope that action on the Arab front might somehow materialize. (9)

Such reticence became harder to justify in October, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev bluntly threatened to launch missiles against Turkey if it attacked Syria, prompting Dulles to retort that the United States would attack the Soviet Union if it attacked Turkey. The Syrian crisis had become a global crisis. In late October Dulles reluctantly prevailed on the Turks to stand down, pledging additional U.S. military aid as an inducement. Turkey agreed to take no military action against Syria without first consulting the United States, bringing an end to the superpower confrontation over Syria. (10)

The Syrian crisis was a major setback for the Eisenhower Doctrine. First, it showed how powerless the doctrine was to deal with forms of Soviet penetration falling short of outright aggression. If a country's own government chose to move closer to the Soviet orbit--as was the case with Syria--what could be done about it? Not much under the Eisenhower Doctrine. The Syrian crisis also demonstrated that, contrary to earlier expectations, the conservative Arab regimes could not be expected to band together to take forceful action against Arab radicalism, fearful as they were of alienating their own people. In other words, the Syrian crisis suggested that one of the main assumptions underlying the Eisenhower Doctrine was fatally flawed.

Meanwhile, the United States still faced the problem of Soviet influence in Syria. But a solution to that problem was soon to appear, and from an unexpected source. Syrian Ba'thists and army officers had become alarmed by the growth of communist influence in their country, both because it invited Soviet domination and because it made Syria vulnerable to pro-West intervention. So the Ba'thists convinced Nasser to agree to a political union between Egypt and Syria. In early February 1958 the United Arab Republic (UAR) was proclaimed, subject to ratification by plebiscites later that month. (11)

The Eisenhower administration was ambivalent about the new union. On the one hand, the merger would at least prevent Syria from moving further into the Soviet orbit, replacing Egyptian influence for Russian influence. On the other hand, it would greatly increase Nasser's power in the region, facilitating his harassment of pro-West regimes; it would also give Nasser direct physical control over the oil pipelines passing through Syrian territory, enabling him to put pressure on the economies of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, from which the oil originated, and of Western Europe, to which it was destined. Officially, the administration took a neutral stance on the merger and prepared to recognize it as soon as its formation was ratified by plebiscite. Unofficially, it reserved the option of supporting collective Arab action to disrupt the new union, should such action be taken prior to ratification. (12)

By now, the conservative Arab states had grown more hawkish on the Nasserist threat, alarmed as they were by the extension of Nasser's power and influence and especially by his newfound control over oil pipelines in Syria. But because they were unwilling to cooperate with each other, little came of this fact. Instead of acting in concert against the union, they tried--and failed--to disrupt it individually.

In early February the Iraqi palace, which had finally replaced Jawdat with a more hard-line prime minister, sought U.S. support for an Iraqi plan to foment a revolt among Syrian tribes dwelling near the border with Iraq, giving the Iraqis a pretext for intervening militarily in Syria to break up the union with Egypt. But the Eisenhower administration withheld support for the plan because it believed that any action against the union, to be successful, must be multilateral. So the Iraqis dropped the plan. (13)

In early March, after the merger had been ratified, UAR officials exposed a plot by King Saud to foment a coup in Damascus leading to Syria's repudiation of the union. In this case, too, the United States had withheld support for the scheme--indeed it had warned Saud that he was being set up for entrapment--but Saud had gone ahead with the plan anyway. The exposure of the Saudi plot severely discredited Saud in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia included. Consequently, in late March the Saudi royal family stepped in and forced Saud to hand over most of his executive functions to his brother, Crown Prince Faisal, who pledged to follow a more accommodating policy toward the UAR. (14)

By now the Eisenhower administration was inclined to take a similar approach. Clearly, the strategy of trying to bolster and unite conservative leaders was not working. Those leaders were either too fearful of public opinion to stand up to radical nationalists or, when willing to stand up, too suspicious of each other to do so as a bloc. So in late March the State Department's Near East Bureau devised a new set of guidelines whereby the United States, without repudiating its commitments to its Arab allies, would seek out opportunities to improve relations with the UAR. By April there were the beginnings of a rapprochement between the United States and the UAR. (15)

But it was not to be--at least not yet. For, as we'll see in the case of the Lebanon crisis, it proved extremely difficult for the United States to reconcile its new approach to Nasserism with its prior obligations to an embattled Arab ally.

The ally in question was Lebanese President Camille Chamoun, a bitter enemy of Nasser. In early 1957 Chamoun had endorsed the Eisenhower Doctrine, making Lebanon one of the few Arab states to do so unconditionally. Chamoun's embrace of the Eisenhower Doctrine deeply angered Lebanon's political opposition, which favored more cordial ties with the radical camp. At the same time, Chamoun's embrace of the Eisenhower Doctrine convinced U.S. officials that he was indispensable to the West. In June 1957 the CIA intervened in Lebanon's parliamentary elections by secretly funding pro-Chamoun candidates. This was a particularly important election since the following year parliament was scheduled to select Lebanon's next president. Chamoun's allies won an overwhelming victory in the parliamentary elections, and many prominent opposition leaders lost their seats. The opposition bitterly disputed the election results, insisting they were fraudulent. (16)

The situation deteriorated in the spring of 1958, as suspicions grew that Chamoun was planning to tamper with the Lebanese constitution, which mandated that a sitting president could not succeed himself. Many feared that Chamoun, with his huge parliamentary majority, would ram through a constitutional amendment allowing him to remain in office after his current term had expired in September 1958. For months, Chamoun refused to deny these rumors, strengthening suspicions that they were true--which, indeed, they were. (17)

The Eisenhower administration realized that any attempt to amend the Lebanese constitution would sharply polarize Lebanese politics, to the detriment of pro-West forces. But it was unwilling to come out and say this to Chamoun, for fear of causing him, and other conservative figures in the Arab world, to lose confidence in the United States. The most the administration was prepared to do was drop hints that Chamoun might consider naming a pro-West successor, hints that Chamoun, characteristically, pretended not to hear. And, as long as Chamoun was determined to succeed himself, the administration was equally determined that he emerge victorious, for the alternative--the conspicuous defeat of one of the Eisenhower Doctrine's prime Arab defenders--was too painful to contemplate. (18)

In May 1958 anti-Chamoun forces rose up in open rebellion. The rebels received material support over the border from Syria (now joined to Egypt in the UAR) and moral support from Radio Cairo. Although Nasser publicly denied he was interfering in Lebanese affairs, it is clear that he at least tolerated the cross-border infiltrations as a deliberate act of policy. (19) And, with the United States and the UAR now on opposite sides of the Lebanon dispute, their nascent rapprochement was temporarily at an end.

In mid-May, citing massive UAR interference in Lebanon, Chamoun asked the United States if it would be prepared to intervene militarily in Lebanon upon request. In considering Chamoun's question, Eisenhower and Dulles agreed that U.S. intervention would be extremely risky. It could well "create a wave of anti-Western feeling in the Arab world" resulting in the overthrow of pro-West governments, the closing of the Suez Canal, the sabotage of oil pipelines in Syria, and "a new and major oil crisis" for the West. On the other hand, Eisenhower and Dulles both felt that refusing to honor such a request would be even worse, since it would show to the world that the United States was not prepared to come to the defense of its allies, with disastrous implications for the Western position in the Cold War. So the Eisenhower administration told Chamoun that U.S. forces would intervene if he requested this, but it also placed a series of hurdles in Chamoun's path to keep him from resorting to such a request too readily: Lebanon would first have to take its case to the UN, and it would have to secure the support at least one other Arab country. (20)

I won't go into the whole saga of Lebanese affairs over the next two months, except to say that, as I read the situation, by early July Lebanon's internal crisis was on the verge of resolution. In June United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold flew to Cairo and got Nasser to agree to halt the infiltration of supplies to the rebels across the Syrian-Lebanese border; shortly thereafter U.S. intelligence reported that such infiltrations seemed to have ended. Armed with this information, the Eisenhower administration told Chamoun that he no longer had a solid basis for requesting outside intervention and that he should seek a political settlement instead. (21) With the rebels deprived of UAR-based supplies, and Chamoun deprived of a pretext for requesting intervention, both sides had an incentive to come to the table. In early July Chamoun finally announced, unequivocally, that he would not seek to amend the Lebanese constitution, and arrangements got underway for parliament to convene and select a new president. (22)

It was at this point that the Iraqi regime was overthrown in a bloody coup. And, fearing his own regime would be next, Chamoun requested immediate U.S. intervention in his country. On 15 July Eisenhower complied by sending 14,000 marines to Lebanon. There had never been any doubt that Eisenhower would honor such a request if it was made; to do otherwise would be to suffer an intolerable loss of international credibility. Further heightening the sense of urgency were the implications of the Iraqi coup itself. The "loss" of Iraq was a major setback to the West, eliminating one of Britain's last major bastions in the Arab world and compromising the Baghdad Pact. Moreover, the new Iraqi regime seemed to have a generally Nasserist orientation, leading most observers to assume--incorrectly, it turned out--that Nasser's power and influence would now extend to Iraq. Believing the entire region was in danger of a Nasserist takeover, Eisenhower felt he had to make some move showing his resolve to protect the West's remaining assets in the region. (23)

In justifying intervention, the Eisenhower administration did not fully invoke the Eisenhower Doctrine but mainly relied on Lebanon's right, under Article 51 of the UN charter, to engage in collective security for self-defense. (24) There was no way that Lebanon could be portrayed as facing aggression by a country "controlled by International Communism." But the Eisenhower Doctrine was indirectly involved in that the administration believed its credibility in the region (and in world as a whole) would suffer if it failed to help a country that had, by embracing the doctrine, so closely aligned itself with the United States.

Ultimately, though, the intervention in Lebanon and its aftermath served to undermine the Eisenhower Doctrine. The United States made it clear that its marines were in Lebanon not to prolong Chamoun's presidency but to permit an orderly transfer of power to a new Lebanese president. And the new president, once in office, repudiated the Eisenhower Doctrine, established friendlier relations with the UAR, and announced a policy of neutrality in the Cold War, thereby underlining Nasserism's continuing hegemony.

In late 1958 the administration made a policy reassessment that, without repudiating the Eisenhower Doctrine itself, abandoned one of its key assumptions: that the United States could and should cultivate conservative rivals to Nasser. Instead, the administration concluded that Nasser was so politically powerful that the United States had no choice but to try to work with him. This new approach was reinforced in early 1959, when a sudden deterioration in relations between the UAR and the Soviet Union suggested that Nasserism might be a barrier to, rather than an avenue of, further Soviet penetration of the Arab world. The result of these developments was a UAR-American rapprochement that lasted for the rest of Eisenhower's term and into the Kennedy years. (25)

What I've tried to suggest in this paper is that Eisenhower's post-Suez Arab policy becomes more intelligible and interesting when examined in its entirety, rather than as a series of individual case studies. The more holistic approach reveals a fairly consistent U.S. strategy to realign the Arab world along ideological lines, in the hopes of marginalizing radical forces. It also shows that U.S. policy was, on the whole, more subtle and imaginative than previously supposed: instead of reacting reflexively against a dimly understood pan-Arabist or Arab nationalist challenge, the United States labored to recast Arab politics so that a more conservative brand of Arabism, shunning international communism and its supporters, could gain ascendancy. Yet the Eisenhower administration could rarely get the conservative Arab states to cooperate with each other to this end. Those states were either too fearful of domestic opinion to take a stand against Arab radicalism or, when willing to take stand, too suspicious of each other to do so as a bloc. Such collective inertia cleared the way for individual actors--Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon--to follow unilateral policies that greatly exacerbated regional tensions, thus increasing the level of danger. The Eisenhower administration's inability to get the conservative states to act on cue suggests a more profound problem: the political weakness of the United States in the Arab world. More than anything else, it was the initial failure to recognize this weakness that doomed Eisenhower's efforts to futility.


(1) Irene L. Gendzier, Notes From the Minefield: United States Intervention in Lebanon and the Middle East, 1945-1958 (New York, 1997); Douglas Little, "His Finest Hour? Eisenhower, Lebanon, and the 1958 Middle East Crisis," Diplomatic History 20:1 (Winter 1996); Erika G. Alin, The United States and the 1958 Lebanon Crisis: American Intervention in the Middle East (Lanham, MD, 1994); Robert B. Satloff, From Abdullah to Hussein: Jordan in Transition (New York, 1994); David W. Lesch, Syria and the United States: Eisenhower's Cold War in the Middle East (Boulder, 1992).

(2) Bipartisan legislative meeting, 9 November 1956, Ann Whitman File (hereafter AWF), DDE Diaries Series, box 20, folder: "Nov '56 Miscellaneous (3)," Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, KS (hereafter DDEL); memorandum of conversation, Eisenhower, Charles E. Wilson, et al., 19 December 1956, Foreign Relations of the United States (hereafter FRUS, with dates and volume number), 1955-1957 12:414.

(3) Charles H. Johnston, The Brink of Jordan (London, 1972), 59; Satloff, Abdullah to Hussein, 151-73; Elie Podeh, "The Struggle Over Arab Hegemony After the Suez Crisis," Middle East Studies 29:1 (January 1993), 101-4.

(4) Egyptian Embassy, Damascus, to Foreign Ministry (hereafter FM, with location of embassy or consulate), desp. #162, 13 May 1957, al-Wizarah al-Kharijiyah, al-arshif alsirri al-jadid, Dar al-Watha'iq al-Qawmiyah (National Archives), Cairo, Egypt (hereafter DWQ, with filing information), box 1223, folder: "3/6/4 al-ahwal al-siyasiyah fi-al-Mamlakah al-Urduniyah al-Hashimiyah"; Damascus to FM, desp. #163, 13 May 1957, ibid.; Damascus to FM, desp. #251, 5 July 1957, box 249, folder: "2/3/6B al-'alaqat al-Suriyah al-Amrikiyah," ibid.

(5) Lesch, Syria and the United States, 127-34; U.S. Embassy, Amman, to Department of State (hereafter DOS, with location of embassy or consulate), 12 August 1957, FRUS, 1955-1957 13:158.

(6) Little, "Cold War and Covert Action," 70-71; Lesch, Syria and the United States, 118.

(7) Ibid. 150; memorandum of conversation, J. F. Dulles, Christian A. Herter, et al., 19 August 1957, FRUS, 1955-1957 13:641; memorandum of conversation, Eisenhower, J. F. Dulles, et al., 21 August 1957, AWF, International Series, box 48, folder: "Syria (3)," DDEL; memorandum for the record, 23 August 1957, ibid.; DOS to Ankara, 23 August 1957, FRUS, 1955-195713:650; DOS to London, 21 August 1957, ibid., 648; Eisenhower, The White House Years: Waging Peace, 1956-1961 (Garden City, 1965), 197-9.

(8) Lesch, Syria and the United States, 176-9; New York Times, 12 and 17 October 1957.

(9) Telephone conversation, Eisenhower and J. F. Dulles, 26 August 1957, AWF, DDE Diaries Series, box 26, folder: "August 1957--Telephone Calls," DDEL; memorandum of conversation, Eisenhower and J. F. Dulles, 2 September 1957, FRUS, 1955-1957 13:670; memorandum of conversation, J. F. Dulles and Selwyn Lloyd, 16 September 1957, Public Record Office, Kew, United Kingdom (hereafter PREM 11 or FO 371, with filing information), PREM 11/2119.

(10) New York Times, 9, 10, and 17 October 1957; DOS instructions reproduced in U.K. Embassy, Washington, to Foreign Office (hereafter FO, with location of embassy or consulate), tel. #2132, 19 October 1957, PREM 11/2119; Ankara to FO, tel. #991, 23 October 1957, PREM 11/2119.

(11) Washington to FO, tel. #631 Saving, 13 December 1957, FO 371/128233; Patrick Seale, The Struggle for Syria: A Study of Post-War Arab Politics (New Haven, 1986 [1965]), 317; Andrew Rathmell, Secret War in the Middle East: The Covert Struggle for Syria, 1949-1961 (London, 1995), 143-4.

(12) Secretary's staff meeting, 23 January 1958, RG 59, Lot 63 D75, Minutes and Notes of the Secretary's Staff Meetings, 1952-1961 (hereafter Lot 63 D75), box 3, folder: "Secretary's Staff Meeting Notes 598-648 Jan. 2, 1958-June 27 1958"; J. Lampton Berry to Christian A. Herter, 25 January 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 13:409-10; 354th meeting of NSC, 6 February 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 12:38; Nigel Ashton, Eisenhower, Macmillan and the Problem of Nasser: Anglo-American Relations and Arab Nationalism (London, 1996), 145; Joseph N. Greene, Jr., to Berry, 5 February 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 13:416.

(13) Baghdad to DOS, tel. #1283, 6 February 1958, UPA, "State Department Files, Egypt," reel 1; Baghdad to DOS, tel. #1312, 10 February 1958, ibid.; DOS to Baghdad, 8 February 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 13:420.

(14) Rathmell, Secret War, 148; Jidda to DOS, 3 March 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 12:714n; Damascus to DOS, 3 March 1958, ibid.; DOS to Jidda, 4 March 1958, ibid., 714; Rountree to J. F. Dulles, 14 March 1958, ibid., 719; Jidda to DOS, tel. #838, 4 March 1958, UPA, "Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files, Saudi Arabia: Internal and Foreign Affairs, 1955-1959," reel 1; Dhahran to DOS, tel. #514, 18 March 1958, ibid.; 357th meeting of NSC, 6 March 1958, AWF, NSC Series, box 9, DDEL; Jidda to DOS, tel. #887, 13 March 1958, RG 59, 686.86A/3-1358; David Holden and Richard Johns, The House of Saud (London, 1981), 201; Robert Lacey, The Kingdom (London, 1981), 318-22.

(15) "Assessment of Current Situation in Near East," Tab A of Rountree to J. F. Dulles, 24 March 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 12:51-4; DOS to Cairo, 25 March 1958, ibid., 13:437-8; Cairo to DOS, 1 April 1958, ibid., 438n; DOS to Cairo, 16 April 1958, ibid., 439-40; Cairo to DOS, 26 April 1958, ibid., 446-9.

(16) Fahim I. Qubain, Crisis in Lebanon (Washington, D. C., 1961), 46-47, 56-59; Wilbur Crane Eveland, Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East (New York, 1980), 248-53.

(17) Alin, 1958 Lebanon Crisis, 68; Qubain, Crisis in Lebanon, 65-6.

(18) Beirut to DOS, 21 February 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 11:10-13; DOS to Beirut, 27 February, 1958, ibid., 13-14; Beirut to DOS, 5 March 1958, ibid., 14-16.

(19) Memorandum of conversation, Hammarskjold and Henry Cabot Lodge, 26 June 1958, ibid., 177. See also Gendzier, Minefield, 268-9; 'Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi, Mudhakkirat 'Abd al-Latifal-Baghdadi [The Memoirs of 'Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi] (Cairo, 1977), 51.

(20) Beirut to DOS, 13 May 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 11:41-2; memorandum of conversation, Eisenhower, J. F. Dulles, et al., 13 May 1958, ibid., 46-7; DOS to Beirut, 13 May 1958, ibid., 49-50; memorandum for record, 15 May 1958 (record of 13 May conversation), AWF, DDE Diaries Series, box 32, folder: "May 1958 Staff Memos (2)," DDEL.

(21) Memorandum of conversation, Lodge and Hammarskjold, 26 June 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 11:176; memorandum of conversation, J. F. Dulles, Malik, et al., 30 June 1958, ibid., 187; DOS to Beirut, 29 June 1958, ibid., 184; Beirut to DOS, 28 June 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 11 (microfiche supplement), item #139; 371st meeting of NSC, 3 July 1958, AWF, box 10, DDEL.

(22) Beirut to DOS, 1, 10, and 12 July 1958, FRUS, 1958-1960 11:192, 204-7; Beirut to FO, tels #929, 5 July 1958, #961, 10 July 1958, #976, 11 July 1958, PREM 11/2387; Qubain, Crisis in Lebanon, 154.

(23) Little, "His Finest Hour?" 43-44, 53.

(24) Alin, 1958 Lebanon Crisis, 111-12.

(25) Fawaz A. Gerges, The Superpowers and the Middle East: Regional and International Politics, 1955-1967 (Boulder, 1994), 125-32.

Salim Yaqub, Department of History, University of Chicago
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Author:Yaqub, Salim
Publication:United States & the Middle East
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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