Middle East: Up the Escalator

Few things could be more unsettling than the vision of Arabs and Israelis—or for that matter, Arabs and Arabs—rattling rockets at each other. But after a twelve-year limitation on major military aid to any Middle Eastern state, the U.S. broke the pattern by announcing that it would sell Israel a consignment of Hawk missiles. The professed reason: to offset Communist military aid to the Arab nations. Actually, the situation has not substantially changed since the 1960 pact between Nasser and the Soviet Union, which gave Egypt 60 Ilyushin jet bombers, several squadrons of new MIG-21 fighters and 500 T-54 tanks.

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