International Arms Deals

November 16, 1955

Report Outline
Arms Comptetion in the Middle East
Surplus Arms and New Sources of Supply
Postwar Changes in World Arms Traffic

Arms Comptetion in the Middle East

The Arms Agreement under which Egypt is obtaining Communist military equipment has introduced a new and disturbing factor into the already explosive armament race in the Middle East. The barter of Czechoslovak war materials for Egyptian cotton has increased tension between Israel and Egypt and provoked a series of border incidents that carry the threat of another Arab-Israeli war. Moreover, the new Red move in the Middle East has touched off a form of competition in armaments which could have far-reaching consequences in other parts of the world.

The shipment of Czech munitions to Egypt has ended the monopoly of supply in the Middle East held since World War II by the western powers. By engaging in what is described as a “commercial transaction,” the Soviet bloc has opened a new and potentially large source of military equipment for countries which hitherto have been entirely dependent upon the West. For the first time, the Communists have given Egypt and other relatively weak countries the opportunity to decline western aid without the penalty of losing their only source of supply.

Reports that the Soviet bloc is promoting arms deals with additional countries have come from various parts of the Near and Middle East. Syria and Saudi Arabia have hinted at the possibility of getting Communist arms to implement their recently signed mutual security pact with Egypt. Afghanistan, which occupies a strategic position in the northern tier of states between Pakistan and the Soviet Union, has been invited to inspect Red Czechoslovakia's arms factories with a view to placing orders for military equipment. Spokesmen for the Afghan government have expressed an interest in Czech arms and spare parts if the country cannot get the military equipment it needs from western powers.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Jul. 29, 2016  Modernizing the Nuclear Arsenal
Mar. 08, 2002  Weapons of Mass Destruction
Jan. 31, 1997  Chemical and Biological Weapons
Jun. 24, 1994  Nuclear Arms Cleanup
Jun. 05, 1992  Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 29, 1990  Obstacles to Bio-Chemical Disarmament
Apr. 22, 1988  The Military Build-Down in the 1990s
May 24, 1987  Euromissile Negotiations
Jul. 11, 1986  Chemical Weapons
Apr. 27, 1984  Reagan's Defense Buildup
Jun. 04, 1982  Civil Defense
Jul. 17, 1981  Controlling Nuclear Proliferation
Jun. 05, 1981  MX Missile Decision
Aug. 15, 1980  The Neutron Bomb and European Defense
Sep. 07, 1979  Atomic Secrecy
Mar. 17, 1978  Nuclear Proliferation
May 27, 1977  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1977  Politics of Strategic Arms Negotiations
Nov. 15, 1974  Nuclear Safeguards
Jul. 01, 1970  Nuclear Balance of Terror: 25 Years After Alamogordo
Jun. 18, 1969  Chemical–Biological Weaponry
Jun. 30, 1965  Atomic Proliferation
Mar. 21, 1962  Nuclear Testing Dilemmas
Aug. 16, 1961  Shelters and Survival
Oct. 12, 1959  Chemical-Biological Warfare
May 13, 1959  Nuclear Test Ban
Dec. 04, 1957  Scientific Cooperation and Atlantic Security
May 15, 1957  Changing Defense Concepts
Jul. 03, 1956  Civil Defense, 1956
Nov. 16, 1955  International Arms Deals
Oct. 04, 1954  Industrial Defense
Apr. 15, 1954  National Defense Strategy
Feb. 10, 1954  New Aproaches to Atomic Control
Oct. 10, 1953  Atomic Information
Apr. 11, 1952  Biological Warfare
Oct. 03, 1951  World Arms Race
Feb. 04, 1948  International Control of Atomic Energy
Dec. 06, 1946  International Inspection
Aug. 27, 1943  Gas Warfare
Jul. 24, 1937  The New Race in Armaments
May 05, 1932  Abolition of Aggressive Weapons
Arms Control and Disarmament
Exports and Imports
International Law and Agreements