This introductory chapter outlines how intelligence on the Middle East was gathered and assessed on both sides of the Atlantic and reveals the challenges posed by the legacy of the Suez Crisis. It details the book’s key research questions, sources and historiographical debates. Exploring an atmosphere of widespread hostility towards Nasser, it shows how analysts underestimated the degree to which the Suez debacle had thrust President Nasser to the unrivalled leadership of Arab nationalism. As the stability of the Arab world appeared to unravel, the stage was set for a series of dramatic confrontations between Western powers and the Egyptian president in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
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