Egypt still owes the Soviet Union $3 billion for military goods and $4.5 billion for other kinds of aid. Last week President Anwar Sadat announced that he was imposing a ten-year moratorium on the military-debt payments. That in itself was scarcely news. Piqued at Soviet refusal to resupply his army after the 1973 war, Sadat has not been making payments on those Soviet military obligations anyhow. So why the announcement?

The apparent answer is that Sadat wanted to stress how dependent he is on the U.S. and oil-rich Arab states for help since cutting himself off from Moscow. In addition to...

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