The World: Are the Russians the Real Winners?

"We did what we had to do," said a Moscow editor last week, in perhaps an unintentionally candid characterization of the Soviet Union's recent actions in the Middle East. It was also something of an understatement. The U.S.S.R. had acted far more forcefully to try to ensure victory for its Arab clients than the U.S. had reacted to help Israel.

Even before the Yom Kippur War, the Soviets were the principal tutors and suppliers of the Egyptian and Syrian armed forces. They not only replaced the enormous Arab losses of the 1967 war but delivered...

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