By William Stivers
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Extra info for America’s Confrontation with Revolutionary Change in the Middle East, 1948–83
The same would happen in the Middle and Far East. As a result of this trend, Western air, land and naval forces would be expelled from their bases and staging posts. Moreover, there could be no guarantee of aircraft landing or overflight privileges. Neither could naval commanders count on secure port facilities to fuel, repair or provision their vessels. All could be denied whenever a local government saw fit - and it was during times of crisis, when forces were needed most, that such denial would most likely occur.
The president carried on a close personal correspondence with Nasser (covering a gamut of topics from Cuba to Africa to the Middle East), and made the special gesture of receiving the Egyptian Ambassador at the White House in May 1961. As an extension of his personal diplomacy, he sent Chester Bowles, the Special Presidential Representative for Asian, African and Latin American Affairs, to Cairo in February 1962. Bowles concluded from his visit that Egyptian leaders were 'pragmatists searching for techniques that will enable them to expand their economy rapidly and maintain their political grip'.
If the United States did not fulfill its pledge, US prestige would decline in Arab eyes and the Soviets would enter the picture. 40 He could not afford, moreover, to stand behind Israel, Britain and France against the opinion of most of the world. Yet he still shared his allies' view of the Egyptian leader. He regarded him as an 'evil influence'. His complaint with the British and French was that 'they chose a bad time and incident on which to launch corrective measures'. '41 Eisenhower had come to a hostile view of Nasser months before Egypt nationalised the Suez Canal.
America’s Confrontation with Revolutionary Change in the Middle East, 1948–83 by William Stivers