What the Carter Doctrine Means to Me

published in MER90

The following document is edited from the official transcript of a speech by Secretary of Defense Harold Brown to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City on March 6, 1980.

The 1970s closed with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The 1980s opened with the ensuing debate, both in this country and around the world, about how to respond to the invasion. At times confused, at times angry, at times profound, this debate is not yet resolved.

War Games for the Eighties

by Michael Klare
published in MER90

For most of the 1970s, the possibility of US military intervention in the Persian Gulf region inspired military training exercises designed to simulate combat experience in a hot, desert environment. The course of events in Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in 1979 has lent a new urgency to these intervention preparations, reflected in the formation of the Rapid Deployment Force. Already in 1980 there have been several large-scale military exercises designed to simulate not only desert fighting conditions, but also the logistical command and control problems that a multi-service project like the RDF entails. I observed two of the largest of these maneuvers, Gallant Eagle at Fort Irwin, California, in March and Operation Red Flag at Nellis Air Base, Nevada, in June.

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The Carter Doctrine and US Bases in the Middle East

by Joe Stork
published in MER90

On Thursday, July 10, a squadron of 12 brown and green camouflaged F-4E Phantom fighter-bombers landed at Cairo West Air Base after a non-stop 13-hour flight from Moody Air Base in Georgia. A week earlier five C-141s and 28 C-5s airlifted some 4 million pounds of equipment and supplies and more than 500 US Air Force personnel from Dover Air Base in Delaware to Cairo West; this was the first Middle East dry run of the Air Force’s “bare base” capability.

Morgan, Domestic Intelligence

by Konrad Ege
published in MER96

Richard E. Morgan, Domestic Intelligence: Monitoring Dissent in America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980).

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Kissinger Memorandum: "To Isolate the Palestinians"

published in MER96

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION

DATE AND TIME: June 15, 1975 12:15 to 2:35 pm
PLACE: Suite 311, Hotel Pierre, New York City
SUBJECT: Meeting with Jewish Leaders (Klutznik Group)

Kissinger: First of all, I want you to know how much I appreciate your taking off on the weekend to come here.

Exonerating US Policy

The Myth of "Good Intentions"

by Fred Halliday
published in MER98

Barry Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience in Iran (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980).

Economic Sanctions and Iranian Trade

by Philip Shehadi
published in MER98

Former President Jimmy Carter’s announcement of economic sanctions against Iran on April 7, 1980 aroused little enthusiasm except in Tehran, where crowds roared their approval of a formal break in ties with the “great Satan.” At home, hadn’t the freeze of Iranian assets, the longshoremen’s refusal to load Iran-bound goods, and the November ban on Iranian oil imports already reduced trade between the two countries to a trickle? In Europe, foreign ministers meeting in Lisbon on April 10 declined to heed Carter’s call. The Europeans, and the Japanese, had a stake in maintaining economic ties to the new regime. Western Europe as a whole was importing 650,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day.

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The Arc of Crisis and the New Cold War

by Fred Halliday
published in MER100-101

The latter half of the 1970s witnessed a sustained and geographically diverse series of social upheavals in the Third World which, taken together, constituted a lessening of Western control in the developing areas. In Africa, the Ethiopian revolution of 1974 was followed by a series of changes in the remaining embattled colonies attendant upon the revolution in Portugal: in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau (1975) and, as a consequence of the independence of Mozambique, in Zimbabwe (1980). The Southwest Asian region was transformed by the revolutions in Afghanistan (1978) and Iran (1979). In Central America there was a triumphant revolution in Nicaragua (1979), and continuing unrest in El Salvador and Guatemala.

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From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER100-101

This is our one hundredth issue, and our tenth anniversary. The variety and scope of the articles, and the size of the magazine, go beyond anything we have attempted before. At the same time, this issue incorporates and represents much of what MERIP has tried to do over its ten years past. We are very pleased to feature here Roger Owen’s insightful assessment of the Arab world’s last decade in the economic sphere. Fred Halliday addresses head on the official contentions of US policymakers concerning the Soviet role in the region, and situates the “new cold war” in the global and regional upheavals of the past ten years.

Doubling Down on Dictatorship in the Middle East

by Amanda Ufheil-Somers | published December 30, 2014

For a moment, four years ago, it seemed that dictators in the Middle East would soon be a thing of the past.

Back then, it looked like the United States would have to make good on its declared support for democracy, as millions of Tunisians, Egyptians, Bahrainis, Yemenis, and others rose up to reject their repressive leaders. Many of these autocrats enjoyed support from Washington in return for providing “stability.”

Yet even the collapse of multiple governments failed to upend the decades-long U.S. policy of backing friendly dictators. Washington has doubled down on maintaining a steady supply of weapons and funding to governments willing to support U.S. strategic interests, regardless of how they treat their citizens.