During the period of intense superpower rivalry in the Middle East from 1978 to 1989, the phenomenon of the "tail wagging the dog" was very much evident in relations between the Soviet Union and its client, Syria, and the United States and its client, Israel. In both cases, the two clients extracted a great deal of military and economic aid while returning little in the way of political obedience. Cobban expertly analyzes the two superpowers and their clients. While her analysis of the limits of U.S.-Israeli "strategic cooperation" will not make partisans of Israel happy, she makes a number of very persuasive points.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.