Transfer of Arms, Leverage, and Peace in the Middle East

Transfer of Arms, Leverage, and Peace in the Middle East

Transfer of Arms, Leverage, and Peace in the Middle East

Transfer of Arms, Leverage, and Peace in the Middle East

Synopsis

Although Israel has been primarily dependent on U.S. arms for its national security since 1968, supplying military aid has not conferred the degree of policy leverage anticipated by the United States. This study analyzes the reasons why the tactics of transferring or withholding arms have failed to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals in the Middle East.

Excerpt

Unresolved arguments among my friends, colleagues, and students on the issue of peace in the Middle East intensified after the Palestinian uprising that began in December 1987. These discussions centered on the ambiguity of the role and interests of the United States in the Israeli-Arab conflict. Whereas the forty-year- old Arab war with the Jewish state has gone through many stages, its end seemed no closer in 1988 than it was in 1948. New parties, tactics, and interests added complexity. The United States, which claims to have a strong interest in peace in the region, has exercised too little leverage to make it happen. A review of the complex issues shows that the continuing conflict defies the traditional theories of international relations. To explain why after four decades of hostilities, five major wars, and intensive diplomatic activity peace has not been attained, innovative approaches are needed. The question of American leverage, or its lack, is the crux of the issue.

The intricate and complex relationships between the United States, the patron state, and Israel, its client state, intrigued me especially in the context of the vast American military aid provided to Israel. Why the United States could not use its client's dependence to influence Israel's foreign policy is both a theoretical and a practical question. During most of the American peace campaigns, including the Shultz initiative of March 1988, the two traditional allies expressed major differences of opinion. Each has been trying to prevail in the controversy. Existing literature fails to provide an adequate explanation as to why the United States has been unable to influence Israel's policies and why the patron-client relationship seems to be reversed with the client enjoying leverage over its patron.

Unlike the concept of power, leverage has received relatively little attention. Writing on leverage is scarce. In conventional theories of international relations . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.