In This Review

Soviet-Egyptian Relations, 1945-85
Soviet-Egyptian Relations, 1945-85
By Mohrez Mahmoud El Hussini
St. Martin's, 1987, 276 pp

The special vantage point of the author, an Egyptian naval officer and naval historian with access to the records of Soviet-Egyptian negotiations and to many involved individuals, makes this a particularly valuable book. The account of the ups and downs of the Soviet-Egyptian relation, especially in the Nasser era, on arms deliveries, military cooperation and Soviet pressure for use of Egyptian naval facilities, throws a searching light on how important Egypt was for Soviet military strategy in the Mediterranean as well as for Moscow's broader grand strategy in the Middle East and the Third World. It also illuminates the policies of Nasser, who resisted Soviet demands for facilities as long as he felt he could-that is, until he no longer had an American card to play against the Soviets.