In This Review

Russia and Arabia: Soviet Foreign Policy Toward the Arabian Peninsula
Russia and Arabia: Soviet Foreign Policy Toward the Arabian Peninsula
By Mark N. Katz
Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986, 279 pp.

One conclusion that emerges from this study, at least implicitly, is that the U.S.S.R. has had no policy toward the Arabian peninsula, but rather a series of policies, changing as circumstances change, toward the eight states located there. It is excellent on the two Yemens, where Moscow has been more heavily engaged; less informative on Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states; but on these, of course, there is much less of a record even though they are in many respects more important to Soviet, as also to Western, interests. The book does not overplay, but certainly does not overlook, Soviet expansionism. It tends to confirm what might be called the balanced conventional wisdom on the subject, and that, in view of the impressive research, is in itself a significant conclusion.