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Regional Fears of Western Primacy and the Future of U.S. Middle Eastern Basing Policy
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The Arab World has maintained a long and problematic history with Western military bases on its territory. Until at least the 1940s, imperial powers often maintained that these bases were designed to defend regional nations against foreign invaders, but they also were used to pressure and sometimes control client governments. However necessary and important such pressure might have been during World War II, it was still a series of infringements on sovereignty that formed an important backdrop for Arab views on U.S. basing issues. Nationalist ferment against foreign bases was a key component of Arab politics throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In response to these regional political concerns, as well as changing Western military requirements and economic pressures, the U.S. and British military presence in the Middle East declined steadily, and a number of major Western bases were evacuated. By the early 1970s, the U.S. and British military presence in the area had been scaled down dramatically, and other issues had become more prominent in Arab-American relations.
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