Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History






United States -- Foreign relations -- Middle East, Middle East -- Foreign relations -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (265 leaves, 28 cm.)


The main objective of American foreign policy in the Middle East, during the post-War period of 1946-1958, was to safeguard the area against Soviet intrusions. This thesis attempts to examine the causes for the failure of the United States to achieve this objective. It concludes that this failure is the result of an alienation of the major national forces in the Middle East. The United States alienated the Arab world by openly and unreservedly supporting Zionist aims in Palestine. She alienated newly independent states by establishing close cooperation with Britain and France, their former colonial masters. She alienated revolutionary nationalists by supporting reactionary and traditional rulers against them and by opposing their ideals of neutrality and revolutionary change. In doing so, the United States opened the way for the Soviet Union to challenge her position and threaten her interests in the area. By emphasizing the military aspects of containment, she demonstrated a lack of understanding of the nature of the Soviet threat. The revolutionary nationalists sought to obtain military, economic, and technical aid without conditions or political strings. By insisting on imposing her conditions of alliance against communism and securing concessions and guarantees, including the safety and security of Israel, the United States made it impossible for the nationalist forces to cooperate with her. They, therefore, were forced to deal with the Soviet Union, whose aid was offered with no conditions or strings attached. The American response to isolate and weaken those states which accepted Soviet aid, through such means as the Eisenhower Doctrine, brought on a most serious deterioration in relations never before encountered by the United States and the most spectacular successes ever realized by the Soviet Union in the Middle East.


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Portland State University. Department of History

Persistent Identifier