Limited War

July 23, 1958

Report Outline
Conflict Over Defense Preparations
Defense Concepts Since World War II
Special Problems of Limited War

Conflict Over Defense Preparations

Middle East Demonstration of War Risks

Fear of general war was raised throughout the world by the sudden new crisis in the Middle East. Quickly following the overthrow of the government of Iraq on July 14, U.S. marines were landed in Lebanon and British paratroopers in Jordan to discourage similar Arab nationalist coups in those countries. President Eisenhower in a special message to Congress, July 15, acknowledged that the landings at Beirut might have “serious consequences.” Moscow and Peiping immediately voiced charges of Western aggression.

Secretary of State Dulles told the Senate Appropriations Committee, July 18, that this was “a grave moment in history.” On the same day U.S. Ambassador Raymond A. Hare at Cairo formally warned the United Arab Republic that “Any attack on United States forces by military units of the United Arab Republic or under U.A.R. control could involve grave consequences seriously impairing our relations.” Almost simultaneously the Russian government declared that “The Soviet Union will not rest indifferent to the acts of unprovoked aggression in an area adjacent to its frontiers.”

Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev, in a message on July 19 calling for immediate convening of a summit conference on the Middle East, took occasion to remind the West that the Russian arsenal included intercontinental missiles. However, Khrushchev agreed that it would be “wiser not to bring the heated atmosphere to a boiling point.” Both Dulles and British Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd had expressed the opinion that the present situation would not lead to open conflict between East and West. But everyone recognized that a false step by either side might usher in the dreaded Third World War.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S.-Soviet Relations
Sep. 14, 1990  The Western Alliance After the Cold War
Feb. 10, 1989  Soviet Trade: In America's Best Interest?
Nov. 01, 1985  U.S.-Soviet Summitry
Jul. 09, 1982  Controlling Scientific Information
May 25, 1973  Trends in U.S.-Soviet Relations
Apr. 05, 1972  Russia's Diplomatic Offensive
Feb. 09, 1972  Trading with Communist Nations
Mar. 10, 1971  Indian Ocean Policy
Apr. 21, 1965  Negotiations with Communists
Nov. 13, 1963  Scientific Cooperation with the Soviet Union
Oct. 03, 1963  Trade with the Communists
Sep. 11, 1963  Non-Aggression Pacts and Surprise Attack
Oct. 11, 1961  East-West Negotiations
Mar. 29, 1961  Russia and United Nations
Aug. 10, 1960  Challenged Monroe Doctrine
Sep. 02, 1959  American-Soviet Trade
Jul. 03, 1959  Cultural Exchanges with Soviet Russia
Aug. 11, 1958  Conference Diplomacy
Jul. 23, 1958  Limited War
May 14, 1958  Cold War Propaganda
Feb. 26, 1958  Military Disengagement
Feb. 20, 1957  Indirect Aggression
Jul. 25, 1956  Trading with Communists
Jan. 11, 1956  Economic Cold War
Nov. 26, 1954  Peaceful Coexistence
Dec. 01, 1953  Tests of Allied Unity
Sep. 18, 1953  Negotiating with the Reds
Jun. 17, 1953  East-West Trade
Apr. 12, 1951  Non-Military Weapons in Cold-War Offensive
Apr. 20, 1949  Mediterranean Pact and Near East Security
Apr. 28, 1948  Trade with Russia
Sep. 11, 1946  Loyalty in Government
Jul. 31, 1946  Arctic Defenses
Apr. 01, 1943  American and British Relations with Russia
Feb. 24, 1933  Soviet-American Political and Trade Relations
Nov. 03, 1931  Russian-American Relations
Feb. 14, 1924  Russian Trade with the United States
Cold War
Defense Technology and Force Planning
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia
U.S. at War: Cold War
War and Conflict