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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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Early Years of Sadat’s Presidency

Early Years of Sadat’s Presidency

Chapter:
(p.227) 8 Early Years of Sadat’s Presidency
Source:
The Arab World and Western Intelligence
Author(s):

Dina Rezk

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748698912.003.0009

The death of President Nasser marked the end of an era in the Arab world. His successor Anwar el Sadat was an unknown quantity. Over the course of a decade, Sadat expelled the Russians from Egypt, broke the Arab-Israeli stalemate and radically reoriented Egypt’s identity towards the Western world. But what were the first impressions of this enigmatic figure? The intelligence material provides a hidden insight into Sadat that has been neglected in most Western scholarship. This chapter reveal that the intelligence communities on both sides of the Atlantic saw Sadat as a temporary figure, an inferior statesman to his predecessor and a man of tactics rather than principles. Thus while analysts were acutely aware of the Soviet-Egyptian tensions that led to Sadat’s dramatic expulsion of 15,000 Soviet advisors in July 1972, their negative perceptions of Sadat made it difficult to recognise the strategic considerations behind the move. Not until the October 1973 War did the intelligence community appreciate that Sadat might have been clearing the way for an attack on Israel.

Keywords:   Sadat, impressions, Egypt, Soviet, expulsion, Arab, Israel

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