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Anwar Sadat and the Yom Kippur War. Course 1: Foundations of National Security Strategy

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On October 6, 1973, thousands of Egyptian troops massed on the west bank of the Suez canal awaiting the order to cross and retake territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 six-day war. As more than 200 jets roared overhead enroute to Israeli targets in the Sinai, the Egyptians swelled into action, eager to reclaim not only the occupied territory, but their honor. The Yom Kippur War was more than an Arab attempt to evict Israel, it was a calculated move by Anwar Sadat to reverse the humiliation and defeat of the 1967 war, restore Egypt and the Arab world to a position of international strength, and pave the way for peaceful settlement of middle east problems. Sadat had a clear vision of his political objectives for the war, and he achieved those objectives not by decisive military action, but by opening the door for a U.S.- mediated peace process. The focus of this paper is statecraft, not generalship. Instead of analyzing how the war was fought, it will address why it was fought, with specific emphasis on the role of Anwar Sadat. Part I deals with the context of world events and circumstances that led Sadat to believe war was an essential element of his grand strategy, part II describes how he used the instruments of statecraft to develop and execute that grand strategy, and part III summarizes the aftermath of the militarily indecisive war as a political victory for Anwar Sadat.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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