The Limits of Détente The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1969-1973 Craig Daigle

Publication date:
30 Oct 2012
Yale University Press
448 pages: 235 x 156 x 30mm
35 b-w illus.
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In this first book-length analysis of the origins of the October 1973 Arab-Israeli War, Craig Daigle draws on documents only recently made available to show how the war resulted not only from tension and competing interest between Arabs and Israelis, but also from policies adopted in both Washington and Moscow. Between 1969 and 1973, the Middle East in general and the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular emerged as a crucial Cold War battleground where the limits of detente appeared in sharp relief.

By prioritizing Cold War detente rather than genuine stability in the Middle East, Daigle shows, the United States and the Soviet Union fueled regional instability that ultimately undermined the prospects of a lasting peace agreement. Daigle further argues that as detente increased tensions between Arabs and Israelis, these tensions in turn negatively affected U.S.-Soviet relations.

Craig Daigle is assistant professor of history at the City College of New York.

"No one has done a better job than Craig Daigle to explain the origins of the October 1973 war. He skillfully draws on recently declassified documents to make a convincing case that U.S.-Soviet detente had the paradoxical consequence of raising the odds of war in the Middle East."--William B. Quandt, University of Virginia