American foreign policy: Arms transfers to the Middle East, 1960-1990: Testing competing theories.
KeywordsArms transers -- Middle East.
Committee ChairSullivan, Michael P.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study investigated American arms transfer policy in the Middle East from 1960 to 1990. Five independent hypotheses have been formulated using explanations for arms transfers drawn from the academic theoretical literature on international relations as well as policy and popular interpretations. The dissertation tested all five hypotheses for their respective explanatory power in understanding United States arms transfers to the Middle East during a key thirty-year period, using a mix of techniques including a comprehensive overview of each factor, historical and objective grounding for each factor and a systematic inquiry using both qualitative and quantitative methods. The five individual hypotheses focus on Soviet arms transfers to the region, the regional balance of power, the "Israeli factor," the Arab-Israeli peace process and the "Oil factor". Data was collected to test each of these hypotheses. The results include the following: a modest action-reaction pattern in superpower arms transfer to the region does exist, with more support for a US reactionary policy to the Soviet Union than the opposite; US transferred arms to the hegemon's challengers to maintain a balance of power system in the Middle East; US arms transfers to Arab states were not strongly related as leads to US arms transfers to Israel; it was found that US peace attempts are moderately correlated with US arms transfers to the involved states; and, finally US arms transfers were strongly correlated with the oil factor. The dissertation concluded that political considerations and economic factors are equally salient depending on the type of cases studied. The results provided insights on the multiple explanations for understanding United States arms transfer policies to the Middle East and produced findings that will have policy implications for policy toward a volatile region of the world in the post-Cold War era, as well as for our understanding of a key component of United States foreign policy in general.
Degree ProgramPolitical Science