John F. Kennedy and US-Middle East Relations. A History of American Foreign Policy in the 1960s

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The first comprehensive examination of President Kennedy’s policy toward the entire Middle East. This book contains five black and white photographs.


“. . . makes a convincing argument that the roots of current U.S. difficulties in the Middle East lie in and around the Kennedy years. If we are to pursue successful policies in the future, it is imperative that we learn how these relationships developed. [Summitt’s} monograph provides an excellent starting point for inquiry.” – Prof. James Goode, Grand Valley State University

“. . . Kennedy’s initiatives [were] delayed, diverted, or derailed by the actions of the regional players—e.g. Israel, Egypt, Jordan—who would rather ask what the U.S. could do for them and not what they could do for the U.S. Written is a clear, straightforward, and well-balanced manner, this book is full of fascinating details about behind-the-scenes policy debates as decision-making began to shift from the State Department to the National Security Council, and is laced with frank and pungent quotes from both Americans and Middle Eastern leaders.” - Prof. Howard J. Dooley, Western Michigan University

“. . . does an excellent job of showing how Kennedy perceived, and was perceived by, the various countries of the Middle East.” - Prof Richard Francaviglia, University of Texas at Arlington

Table of Contents

Foreword by Prof. James Goode
1. Legacies of the Past
Truman and the Middle East
The Eisenhower Doctrine
2. Pillars of Stability
Kennedy and Economic Development
Israel and its Nuclear Plant
Saudi Arabia and Oil
King Hussein of Jordan
Iran and the Shah
3. Wooing the Neutrals
Aid to Nasser
Breakup of the UAR
Independent Syria
Nationalism in Iraq
4. The Palestinian Refugee Issue
The Johnson Mission
Roadblocks to Settlement
The HAWK Connection
Fixing the Blame
5. Rewarding the Faithful
The White Revolution in Iran
Reassurance to Lebanon
Pressure of Kuwait
Reforming Saudi Arabia and Jordan
6. A Tightrope Over Water
The Hydrography
Dividing the Waters
The Johnston Plan
The War Over the Sea
7. The Tightrope Breaks
The High Point of Rapprochement
Nuclear Weapons and Disarmament
Civil War in Yemen
Royal Regimes and the Yemeni Conflict
The British and Yemen
8. Dominoes of Arab Nationalism
Revolution in Iraq
Kurds and Communists
Syria and Pan-Arabism
Crisis in Jordan
9. The End of a Balanced Approach
The Yemeni War Continues
Operation Hard Surface
A Middle East Arms Race
The Gruening Amendment
10. After the New Frontier
Johnson and the Six-Day War
Middle East Players Evaluated
American Policymakers Evaluated
The Legacy of Kennedy’s Approach
Cast of Characters

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