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The impact of the Cold War on the Middle East - Essay Example

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This research is being carried out to analyze the impact of the Cold War on the Middle East, outline patterns of alliance (which states sided with which superpower, during which period AND why?), justify and/or criticize U.S. policy during the Cold War. …
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The impact of the Cold War on the Middle East
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The Cold War
Impact of the Cold War on the Middle East
The cold war had a lot of effects not only to the participating countries but also the neighboring states: moreover, the effects were both positive and negative depending on the situation (Khalidi 4). Significantly, when it comes to the nuclear legacies, most of them can be traced back to the cold war, with most of the Middle East states experiencing the availability of new technologies for nuclear power and energy, use of radiation for improving medical treatment and health; moreover, environmental remediation, industrial production, research science, and technology development have all benefited from the carefully managed application of radiation and other nuclear processes.
On the other hand, military development and spending has continued despite the end of the cold war especially in relation to the exploitation of defensive systems; furthermore, former superpowers in the Middle East have proceeded to maintain and develop existing weapons and delivery systems. Additionally, with some countries having had overseas military bases and facilities, they have inherited responsibilities and costs especially with the urge of more production and serving facilities (sometimes even military staging and storage); as well, nuclear and conventional forces remain at levels reasonably high for a peacetime environment with localized conflicts and tensions having replaced the former bilateral nuclear confrontation.
Generally, in the wake of the Cold War, some of the Middle East countries inherited expenses, commitments and resources for which they were not prepared, and others states also found themselves with contemporary national-security burdens and substantial environmental contamination legacies, all to be financed while new or revised civilian economies had to be instituted (Khalidi 8).
Patterns of Alliance
In 1955, Syria aligned with Egypt and Saudi Arabia (Arab Solidarity Pact) to balance against Iraq and the United States sponsored Baghdad pact; still on the same year, there was a pact between Syria and USSR - Syria was trying to balance against Iraq, Turkey and Israel (went up to1958) (Walsh 108). Additionally, in 1958 Syria united with Egypt under Nasser (United Arab Republic) to balance against internal communist threats and external superpower pressure; after this, there was the Tripartite Unity Pact - where Syria and Iraq formed an alliance with Egypt, and later on in the year, Syrian and Iraqi Ba’ath united to balance against Egypt to fulfill ideological goals.
In 1971-74, Syria formed an alliance with Egypt and Saudi Arabia to balance against Israel through the planning of an offensive war to regain lost territory; later in 1975, Syria also aligned with Jordan to balance against Israel as Egypt defected from the October War Coalition. (Walsh 119).
US Policies and the Cold War
The new course adopted by the United States in American foreign policy was an appropriate move due to a number of reasons: containment was suggested by George Kennan, a diplomat and soviet expert, who eagerly suggested the United States throttle communist influence in Eastern Europe and Asia, and one of the ways to accomplish this was by establishing NATO so the Western European nations had a defense against communist influence.
Key Documents
Some of the key documents included: Potsdam Declaration – (July 26, 1945) informal statement issued by Harry S. Truman, Winston Churchill, and Chiang Kai-Shek outlining the terms for a Japanese surrender, Baruch Plan – (1946) proposal by the U.S. to the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC) to expand between all nations the trade of basic scientific information for peaceful ends, and NSC-68 – (April 14, 1950) classified report written and issued by the United States National Security Council outlining the National Security Strategy of the United States for that time.
Works Cited
Walsh, David. Syrian Alliance in the Post-Cold War Era: The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs. 2013. Web, January 27, 2014 < > Khalidi, Rashid. Rethinking the Cold War in the Middle East: Sowing Crisis, 2012, Web, January 27, 2014 < >Read More
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