A presentation by Wilson Center Fellow Salim Yaqub: Dr. Yaqub focuses on Henry Kissinger's "shuttle diplomacy" in the aftermath of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Kissinger's overriding objectives, Yaqub argues, were to reduce Soviet influence in the Middle East and to block any diplomatic settlement that would compel Israel to retreat to its 1967 borders. To achieve these goals, Kissinger set in motion an incremental, bilateral peace process between Egypt and Israel. This "step-by-step" diplomacy lured Egypt away from its quasi-alliance with the Soviet Union, depriving Moscow of a major asset in the Middle East. Kissinger's diplomacy also had the effect of subtracting Egyptian power from the Arab-Israeli equation, permitting Israel to consolidate its occupation of Syrian and Palestinian land. Kissinger's diplomacy was highly successful in its own terms. Insofar as it fortified Israeli occupation, however, it embittered America's relations with much of the Arab world and contributed to the emergence of new threats to the United States.
Salim Yaqub is a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow, and an associate professor of history at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he specializes in US involvement in the Middle East. In his scholarship, he works to link the study of foreign relations with the broader societal dynamics which influence the development of foreign policy.
History and Public Policy Program
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC, 20004
t. 202 691 4000
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