THE NATION: The Long Way Around

In the grey German summer of 1948 Joseph Stalin reached out to strangle helpless Berlin, and U.S. planners, although caught unawares, responded with a monument to man's ingenuity: the Berlin Air Lift. In late summer 1956 Western Europe faces a challenge that dwarfs Stalin's Berlin blockade. The great question: How, if Egypt's President Nasser closes down the Suez Canal—either by force or bungling—will Western Europe get the oil that is blood to its industry and life to its economy? The answer: a Suez Sea Lift.

As in 1948 the burden of action falls...

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