Middle East Enmities

July 6, 1966

Report Outline
Sources of Tension in the Middle East
Emergence of Independent Arab States
Strains on Unity in the Arab World

Sources of Tension in the Middle East

The visit of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia to the United States, June 20 to 30, once more focused American attention on one of the world's perennial trouble spots, the Middle East. The always simmering political caldron of this strategic and oil-rich region again appears in some danger of boiling over. And, as in the past, big-power involvement would be a constant threat if intensive and extensive hostilities developed.

Fighting recently has taken place on four fronts: 1) in the Yemen, where the deposed Royalists have been battling the Republican government; 2) in the neighboring British protectorate of South Arabia, where Egyptian-supported terrorists are waging a campaign against the British and the ruling tribal leaders; 3) in the wide area of Iraq inhabited by rebellious Kurdish tribesmen; and 4) along the Syrian-Jordanian frontiers with Israel.

Furthermore, two major rifts have appeared in the Arab fabric. Differences over policy toward Israel have arisen between the Arabs of countries formerly a part of French North Africa and Arabs of the Middle Eastern nations. A second—and more important—split has appeared between the socialist Arab states led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and the conservative Arabstates led by Saudi King Faisal.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Israel, Palestine, and Middle East Peace
Jun. 21, 2013  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
May 2009  Middle East Peace Prospects
Oct. 27, 2006  Middle East Tensions Updated
Jan. 21, 2005  Middle East Peace
Aug. 30, 2002  Prospects for Mideast Peace
Apr. 06, 2001  Middle East Conflict
Mar. 06, 1998  Israel At 50
Aug. 30, 1991  The Palestinians
Oct. 19, 1990  The Elusive Search for Arab Unity
Feb. 24, 1989  Egypt's Strategic Mideast Role
Apr. 15, 1988  Israel's 40-Year Quandary
Mar. 02, 1984  American Involvement in Lebanon
Nov. 12, 1982  Reagan's Mideast Peace Initiative
Apr. 23, 1982  Egypt After Sadat
Jan. 04, 1980  Divided Lebanon
Jul. 20, 1979  West Bank Negotiations
Dec. 01, 1978  Middle East Transition
Jan. 13, 1978  Saudi Arabia's Backstage Diplomacy
Oct. 29, 1976  Arab Disunity
May 16, 1975  Middle East Diplomacy
Sep. 13, 1974  Palestinian Question
Dec. 12, 1973  Middle East Reappraisal
Apr. 25, 1973  Israeli Society After 25 Years
Aug. 19, 1970  American Policy in the Middle East
Apr. 25, 1969  Arab Guerrillas
Aug. 02, 1967  Israeli Prospects
Jul. 06, 1966  Middle East Enmities
Apr. 14, 1965  Relations with Nasser
Aug. 17, 1960  Arab-Israeli Deadlock
May 27, 1959  Middle East Instability
Jun. 04, 1958  Nasser and Arab Unity
Oct. 02, 1957  Soviet Threat in Middle East
Sep. 18, 1956  Suez Dispute and Strategic Waterways
May 09, 1956  Middle East Commitments
Apr. 13, 1955  Middle East Conflicts
Mar. 31, 1954  Security in the Mideast
Oct. 23, 1952  Israel and the Arab States
Jan. 30, 1952  Egyptian Crisis and Middle East Defense
Mar. 17, 1948  Palestine Crisis
Feb. 18, 1946  Soviet Russia and the Middle East
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Middle East Conflicts
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia
War and Conflict