War of Attrition
War of Attrition
In 1968, a protracted War of Attrition between Egypt and Israel began along the Suez Canal. In March 1970 this culminated in an unprecedented Soviet military intervention to protect Egypt against Israeli deep penetration raids. This dramatic geo-political shift forced analysts to question Egypt’s commitment to peace and independence and Soviet willingness to escalate the Cold War. The literature published on this issue thus far suggests that analysts ‘failed’ to predict the Soviet intervention. This chapter reveals that contrary to our conventional understanding, British analysts warned that Arab ‘honour’ would never accept Israeli use of the east bank of the Suez Canal and that attacks on Egypt’s heartland would provoke an intervention by the Soviet Union. The documentary record makes it clear that policy-makers on both sides of the Atlantic ignored or dismissed the assessments of their analysts. In the aftermath of the intervention, intelligence analysis played a key role in quelling the fears of policy makers, arguing that the Soviet Union felt obliged to react to the Israeli offensive and was not seeking to escalate the Cold War. Nor, analysts argued, could Egypt be regarded as a Soviet client state, as the expulsion of the Russian advisors only two years later would aptly demonstrate.
Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.