By William Stivers
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Extra info for America’s Confrontation with Revolutionary Change in the Middle East, 1948–83
That position would hinge not on America's ability to achieve a modus vivendi with Arab nationalism, or to broker political settlements to regional conflict, but on US military power in the Indian Ocean. As formulated by New Frontier foreign policy planners, US strategy involved three main actions on the part of the United States: first, the establishment of a US presence through deployment of naval task forces in the Indian Ocean on a regular basis. Second, US aid to a financially weakened British government to keep it militarily committed 'East of Suez'; and third, just as the Navy had proposed, acquisition of island bases to support military actions - including invervention ashore - in Southeast Asia, Eastern Africa and the Persian Gulf.
Israeli forces would drive into the Sinai peninsula. Acting under the pretext of protecting the Canal, Britain and France would issue an ultimatum demanding that within twelve hours both Egypt and Israel distance their forces at least ten miles from the waterway. When Egypt inevitably refused - an Egypt withdrawal would have conceded Israeli occupation of nearly the whole of the Sinai - the British and French would seize the Canal, purportedly to insure free passage. The Israeli attack came on 19 October.
President Chamoun had established firm pro-Western credentials by embracing the Eisenhower Doctrine. He had, in consequence, exposed himself to intensified political attack by advocates of Arab unity. In Syria, panArab tendencies had steadily gathered strength, culminating in the United Arab Republic (UAR) , a union between Egypt and Syria proclaimed on 1 February 1958. In such a context it was extremely important to back Chamoun. For if a pro-Western leader like Chamoun called for help and the United States did not respond, as Dulles warned on 15 June, 'that will be the end of every pro-Western government in the area'.
America’s Confrontation with Revolutionary Change in the Middle East, 1948–83 by William Stivers