The middle east: Strategic and military balance of power

Eyal Zisser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In 1967MalcolmH. Kerr, a leading American scholar on theMiddle East, analysed the inter-Arab system and inter-Arab dynamics in the Middle East during the 1950s and 1960s.1 Kerr described these dynamics as unfolding under the influence of the Cold War and, to a large extent, even imitating the patterns of conduct and dynamics dictated by that Cold War, which saw the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies confronting each other all over the world. Kerr argued that just as the world-at-large was divided into two camps so, too, was the Middle East. The radical, revolutionary camp, under the influence of the Soviet Union, was faced by a conservative, moderate, and consequently pro-Western grouping backed by the United States. According to Kerr, the struggle for power in the Middle East during the 1950s and 1960s was an evenly balanced contest between two camps of approximately equal strength that maintained a kind of balance of terror. However, the situation at the time appeared rather differently. To the outside observer, it appeared as if the radical and revolutionary camp had the upper hand. The region seemed to be dominated by the radically nationalistic pan-Arab worldview as expressed by its most prominent and popular exponent, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.2.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Diplomacy and Statecraft
EditorsB.J.C. McKercher
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780203807804
ISBN (Print)9780415781107
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks


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