Naval War College Review


Since their 1955 arms deal with Egypt, Soviet policymakers have sought to establish the Soviet Union as the dominant power in the Middle East. The main thrust of this strategy has been simply to replace the Western Powers in their former positions of political, military and economic influence within the region. The Soviet leaders have engaged in massive economic aid projects such as the Aswan and Euphrates Dams; they have contributed large amounts of sophisticated military equipment to many of the states of the region; and more recently they have sought to consolidate their influence through long-term ''Friendship and Assistance" treaties such as the ones signed with Egypt in 1971 and Iraq in l1972.