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The Limits of DetenteThe United States, the Soviet Union, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1969-1973$
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Craig Daigle

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300167139

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300167139.001.0001

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Bombshells and Back Channels, June 1972–February 1973

Bombshells and Back Channels, June 1972–February 1973

(p.228) Seven Bombshells and Back Channels, June 1972–February 1973
The Limits of Detente

Craig Daigle

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the decision by President Anwar Sadat to expel the nearly fifteen thousand Soviet military advisers and experts inside Egypt. Not since Nikita Khrushchev withdrew Russian missiles from Cuba in 1962 had the Soviet Union suffered such a humiliating setback to its foreign policy. Soviet general secretary Leonid Brezhnev tried to put the best spin he could on the hasty termination of the Soviet military mission in Egypt, telling Nixon in a letter on July 20 that this was a “unilateral move” in partial fulfillment of Gromyko's proposal the previous year, when he offered to remove the Soviet military units from Egypt in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from the Arab territories seized in 1967. Kissinger later wrote, however, that it was written with “amazing Chutzpah” but was a “stupid thing for them to say because it's so transparent.”

Keywords:   President Anwar Sadat, Soviet military advisers, Nikita Khrushchev, Brezhnev, unilateral move, Kissinger

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