Security in the Mideast

March 31, 1954

Report Outline
Emerging Plans for Collective Self-Defense
Debilitating Effects of Mideast Animosities
United States Aid to the Middle East
Special Focus

Emerging Plans for Collective Self-Defense

New efforts to bolster defensive capabilities of nations of the Middle East are being made in the face of threats, both external and internal, to the peace and security of the vast strategic region extending from the Mediterranean to Red China along the southern frontier of the Soviet Union. The United States, in cooperation with Turkey and Pakistan, is taking steps to strengthen the region against external aggression. At the same time, internal tensions and national rivalries are seriously weakening whatever capacities other countries of the Middle East may have for collective defense of the region.

Emerging Plans for Collective Self-Defense

The decision of the United States to extend military aid to Pakistan, announced Feb. 25, was a key move in the larger effort to strengthen the whole region, politically, militarily and economically. Present plans make no attempt to revive earlier western proposals for an all-embracing Middle East Defense Command. Instead, they offer American military assistance to those nations which are willing to take “effective collective measures” to prevent and remove threats to peace. While the original defense command project failed to win any positive support from countries within the area, the new approach has been welcomed by some of the stronger nations of the Middle East.

Turkey and Pakistan, among the countries nearest the Soviet Union, have announced their intention to conclude an agreement “to achieve closer friendly collaboration.” Two countries in the middle belt, Iraq and Syria, have hinted that they may be ready to join in regional security agreements. But sharp dissent has come from other countries of the Middle East.

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