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The end of the Cold War saw a return of the concept of arms control to the forefront of the academic and policy-oriented discourse on security. At the academic level, the end of the Cold War brought new conceptualizations of arms control. While the traditional neo-realist approach viewed arms control as an instrument for managing the balance of power between states and adjusting their military capabilities, the neo-liberal institutionalist approach conceptualized arms control as an instrument that could help to shape political perceptions of states, remove their security dilemma, and contribute to conflict prevention and possibly conflict resolution. At the policy-oriented level, the concept of arms control also gained considerable importance as an important mechanism for conflict resolution and security. In this context, Western powers have frequently advocated arms control as a conflict resolution strategy in conflict-ridden regions, such as the Middle East, South Asia and the Korean peninsula.
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The United States first set out the project in 1950 when it suggested establishing a Middle East Defense Organization (MEDO), and President Eisenhower reintroduced the idea in 1953 when he proposed to establish an alliance between the northern tier countries of the Middle East in order to contain the Soviet Union. The countries meant were Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Iraq. In response to this proposal, Iraq and Turkey signed a security pact that became known as the Baghdad Pact in February 1955, and Britain joined in April 1995; under this security pact the three countries pledged to defend each other in case of a foreign aggression. The Pact, however, was met with vehement opposition from Egypt and advocates of the Arab regional system, and this led to its collapse in 1958 following the outbreak of the Iraqi revolution.
Al-Mesiri, Abdel-Wahab (2006). The New Middle East in the American-Zionist Vision. Al-Jazeera, 1 November; available at: http://www.aljazeera.net/opinions/pages/6deae7db-b26a-42d0-b95f-b8a758e1c2cd
Ismael, T. Y., & Ismael, J. S. (2011). Government and politics of the contemporary Middle East: Continuity and change. London: Routledge.
Matar, J., & Dessouki, A. E. H. (1983). The Arab regional system. Cairo: Center for Arab Unity Studies.
Riad, M. R. (1981). A view from Cairo. In M. Ayoob (Ed.), The Middle East in world politics. London: Croom Helm.
Gamal M. Selim
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
- Chapter 1