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The Arab World and Western IntelligenceAnalysing the Middle East, 1956-1981$
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Dina Rezk

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780748698912

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748698912.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 March 2021

Six-Day War

Six-Day War

(p.175) 6 Six-Day War
The Arab World and Western Intelligence

Dina Rezk

Edinburgh University Press

The Six-Day War currently stands as one of the CIA’s greatest ‘success’ stories in the Middle East. Good intelligence is credited with guiding policy makers in the UK and US to resist Israeli requests for military support and thereby containing a conflict that could have pitted a Western supported Israel against a Soviet backed Arab force. What made intelligence so effective in this instance? This chapter argues that analysts recognised the intentions and capabilities of the major players in this conflict. They knew that Nasser had no appetite for a war with Israel and acknowledged that he had been goaded by Syria into an aggressive rhetoric that became dangerously self-fulfilling. More importantly, analysts correctly identified that despite the numerical superiority of the combined Arab forces, the Israeli military would prevail. Yet looking beyond the catharsis of military conflict raises important questions about the utility of discourse such as ‘success’ in describing a war whose tragic legacy remains with us today.

Keywords:   War, Soviet, intelligence, Egypt, defeat, Six-Day

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