Syrian Crisis of 1957

The Syrian Crisis of 1957 was a period of severe diplomatic confrontations during the Cold War that involved Syria and the Soviet Union on one hand, and the United States and its allies, including Turkey and the Baghdad Pact, on the other.

The tensions began in August 18,[1] when the Syrian government presided by Shukri al-Quwatli made a series of provocative institutional changes, such as the appointment of Col. Afif al-Bizri as chief-of-staff of the Syrian Army, who was alleged by Western governments of being a Soviet sympathizer. Suspicion that a communist takeover had occurred in Damascus grew larger, prompting neighboring Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to consider supporting an Arab or Western military intervention to overthrow the Syrian government. Turkey was the only country to step in by deploying thousands of troops along the Syrian-Turkish border. Nikita Khrushchev threatened that he would launch missiles at Turkey if it attacked Syria, while the United States said that it could attack the Soviet Union in response to an assault on Turkey. The crisis ended in late October, when Turkey agreed to cease its border operations following pressure by the United States,[2] and when Khrushchev made an unexpected visit to the Turkish embassy in Moscow.[1]

The events are widely seen as a major failure of the Eisenhower Doctrine, which stressed that the United States could intervene militarily on behalf of a Middle Eastern ally to fight "international communism".[2]


The crisis began in mid-August, when the Syrian government made a series of important moves, furthering the idea that communists were in control of Damascus. Such changes included the replacement of Tawfik Nizam al-Din by Col. Afif al-Bizri as chief-of-staff of the Syrian Army. The latter was suspected by Western governments of being a pro-Soviet fellow traveller. This came four days after Syria expelled three American diplomats who were accused by Damascus of plotting to overthrow the government.[3]

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's special envoy to the Middle East, James P. Richards, warned about moving too fast and believed that the tensions could "change character and ease off in a few days or weeks", following Anglo-American talks in response to the incidents. US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, described the situation as "totally unacceptable" and called for further efforts to prevent Syria from becoming a "Soviet satellite". He had hoped, however, that a violent response to the developments would be prevented, especially by Israel. On August 21, as advised by Dulles, Eisenhower made unclear statements on the events during a press conference, without alleging that the Syrian government was communist-controlled. Syria responded with another press conference two days later, stating that Damascus was committed to "positive neutralism", a foreign policy doctrine that stressed independence from the "paternalism" of the Cold War superpowers.[3]

"Time approaching, if indeed not already arrived, when Syria will cease be effectively an independent nation but will have been taken over as was Czechoslovakia in 1948 and made into Soviet satellite having independence only in name and not in substance. We also convinced that once present group now in control Damascus has consolidated its position in Syria it will reach out in efforts subvert surrounding countries, thus propagating Communist virus and paving way for control by elements subservient to Moscow."
Telegram from the US embassy in Saudi Arabia to the State Department.[4][5]

By the end of August, both Washington and London were convinced that Syria was no longer on the non-aligned camp, and that something had to be done in order to prevent the subverting of neighboring countries. In a letter to Dulles on August 28, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan described Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev as "a more dangerous man even than Stalin", and further stressed the importance of taking action so that neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and eventually Iraq don't fall under the Soviet sphere of influence. The same day, British ambassador to Jordan, Charles Hepburn Johnston, said that the Jordanian government was aware of anti-government cells within Syria that it considered arming, but then gave up the idea and decided to wait for further developments. At the end of the month, Eisenhower sent Loy W. Henderson as a special envoy to the Middle East, who was to work out a solution to the crisis by consulting different involved governments, all except the Syrian government.[4]

On September 2, Secretary Dulles said during a press conference in Washington, that all the countries bordering Syria were of the opinion that Syria would become a communist state if nothing had been done within the next 60 days. This came after Henderson delivered Eisenhower a report from his visit to the Middle East.[6] It also followed a series of important diplomatic exchanges between officials from different countries, during which it was revealed that Israel was willing to take military action, unless other countries neighboring Syria decided to "seal off" the country, which was discussed in the beginning of September during a meeting in Ankara between Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, Iraqi Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah and the American ambassador in Turkey. Israel was eventually pressured by the West to show restraint and not to react. 'Abd al-Ilah was cautious, as he wanted to consult Jordan first before making any move. A penetration of Syrian territory through Jordan appeared like an "easier" plan to him than through the Iraqi-Syrian border.[7] Turkey, however, was willing to adopt military measures, since it viewed the situation as a matter of its national security.[6]


  1. ^ a b Brecher 1997, pp. 345-346.
  2. ^ a b Yaqub 2011, pp. 114-116.
  3. ^ a b Anderson 1995, pp. 25.
  4. ^ a b Anderson 1995, pp. 26.
  5. ^ U.S. Department of State, pp. 500.
  6. ^ a b Anderson 1995, pp. 28.
  7. ^ Anderson 1995, pp. 27.


  • Anderson, Philip (1995). "'Summer Madness': The Crisis in Syria, August-October 1957". British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Taylor & Francis. 22 (1/2): 21–42. doi:10.1080/13530199508705610. JSTOR 195962.
  • Blackwell, Stephen (2000). "Britain, the United States and the Syrian crisis, 1957". Diplomacy and Statecraft. 11 (3): 139–158. doi:10.1080/09592290008406174.
  • Bogle, Lori Lyn (2001). The Cold War: Hot wars of the Cold War. Taylor & Francis. pp. 156–163. ISBN 9780815332404.
  • Brecher, Michael (1997). A Study of Crisis. University of Michigan Press. pp. 345–346. ISBN 9780472108060.
  • Brown, Kevin (2013). "The Syrian Crisis of 1957: A Lesson for the 21st Century" (PDF). CPD Perspectives on Public Diplomacy. University of Southern California Center for Public Diplomacy.
  • Jankowski, James P. (2002). Nasser's Egypt, Arab Nationalism, and the United Arab Republic. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 9781588260345.
  • Jones, Matthew (2004). "The 'Preferred Plan': The Anglo-American Working Group Report on Covert Action in Syria, 1957" (PDF). Intelligence and National Security. 19 (3): 401–415. doi:10.1080/0268452042000316214.
  • Kirk, George (1960). "The Syrian Crisis of 1957: Fact and Fiction". International Affairs. 36 (1): 58–61. doi:10.2307/2609310. JSTOR 2609310.
  • Laçiner, Sedat; Bal, İhsan (2011). "USAK Yearbook of International Politics and Law: Volume 4". International Strategic Research Organization. 4. ISBN 9786054030477.
  • Lesch, David W. (1992). "The Saudi Role in the America‐Syrian Crisis of 1957". Middle East Policy. 1 (3): 33–48. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4967.1992.tb00194.x.
  • Lesch, David W. (1994). "Syria and the United States: Eisenhower's Cold War in the Middle East". Foreign Affairs. Council on Foreign Relations. 73 (6): 183. JSTOR 20046994.
  • Pearson, Ivan (2007). "The Syrian Crisis of 1957, the Anglo-American 'Special Relationship', and the 1958 Landings in Jordan and Lebanon". Middle Eastern Studies. Taylor & Francis. 43 (1): 45–64. doi:10.1080/00263200601079625. JSTOR 4284523.
  • "Egypt Lands Troops In Syria; Reinforces Country's Defenses". 132 (17). The Stanford Daily. 14 October 1957.
  • U.S. Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office (originally from the University of Michigan). p. 500.
  • Yaqub, Salim (2004). Containing Arab Nationalism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Middle East. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807855089.
  • Yaqub, Salim (2011). "Contesting Arabism: The Eisenhower Doctrine and the Arab Middle East, 1956-1959" (PDF). 6 (27). The MacMillan Center Council on Middle East Studies: 111–123.
1976 Argentine coup d'état

The 1976 Argentine coup d'état was a right-wing coup that overthrew Isabel Perón as President of Argentina on 24 March 1976. A military junta was installed to replace her; this was headed by Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera and Brigadier-General Orlando Ramón Agosti. The political process initiated on 24 March 1976, took the official name of "National Reorganization Process", and the junta, although not with its original members, remained in power until the return to the democratic process on December 10, 1983.

The coup d'état had been planned since October 1975, and the United States Department of State learned of the preparations two months before its execution. The American secretary of state Henry Kissinger would meet several times with Argentinian military leaders after the coup, urging them to destroy their opponents quickly before outcry over human rights abuses grew in the United States.

ASEAN Declaration

The ASEAN Declaration or Bangkok Declaration is the founding document of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It was signed in Bangkok on 8 August 1967 by the five ASEAN founding members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand as a display of solidarity against communist expansion in Vietnam and communist insurgency within their own borders. It states the basic principles of ASEAN: co-operation, amity, and non-interference. The date is now celebrated as ASEAN Day.

Arms race

An arms race occurs when two or more nations participation in interactive or competitive increases in "persons under arms" as well as "war material". Simply defined as a competition between two or more states to have superior armed forces; a competition concerning production of weapons, the growth of a military, and the aim of superior military technology.

The term is also used to describe any long-term escalating competitive situation where each competitor focuses on out-doing the others.

An evolutionary arms race is a system where two populations are evolving in order to continuously one-up members of the other population. This concept is related to the Red Queen's Hypothesis, where two organisms co-evolve to overcome each other but each fails to progress relative to the other interactant.

In technology, there are close analogues to the arms races between parasites and hosts, such as the arms race between computer virus writers and antivirus software writers, or spammers against Internet service providers and E-mail software writers.

More generically, the term is used to describe any competition where there is no absolute goal, only the relative goal of staying ahead of the other competitors in rank or knowledge. An arms race may also imply futility as the competitors spend a great deal of time and money, yet end up in the same situation as if they had never started the arms race.

Asian Relations Conference

The Asian Relations Conference took place in New Delhi in March-April 1947. It was hosted by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who then headed a provisional government that was preparing for India's Independence, which came on 15 August 1947. The Asian Relations Conference brought together many leaders of the independence movements in Asia, and represented a first attempt to assert Asian unity. The objectives of the conference were "to bring together the leading men and women of Asia on a common platform to study the problems of common concern to the people of the continent, to focus attention on social, economic and cultural problems of the different countries of Asia, and to foster mutual contact and understanding."

In his writings and speeches, Nehru had laid great emphasis on the manner in which post-colonial India would rebuild its Asia connections. At this conference Nehru declared: "... Asia is again finding herself ... one of the notable consequences of the European domination of Asia has been the isolation of the countries of Asia from one another. ... Today this isolation is breaking down because of many reasons, political and otherwise ... This Conference is significant as an expression of that deeper urge of the mind and spirit of Asia which has persisted ... In this Conference and in this work there are no leaders and no followers. All countries of Asia have to meet together in a common task ..."

Die Wende

Die Wende (German pronunciation: [diː ˈvɛndə], "The Turn" or "The Turnaround") is a German term that has come to signify the complete process of change from the rule of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and a centrally planned economy to the revival of parliamentary democracy and a market economy in the German Democratic Republic (also known as East Germany or the GDR) around 1989 and 1990. It encompasses several processes and events which later have become synonymous with the overall process. These processes and events are:

the Peaceful Revolution during the presidency of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, a time of massive protest and demonstrations (Montagsdemonstrationen – "Monday demonstrations" and Alexanderplatz demonstration) against the political system of the GDR and for civil and human rights in late 1989.

the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 following a press conference held by the Politbüro during which Günter Schabowski announced the introduction of unconditional travelling permissions, which was very unusual after four decades of severe travelling restrictions and intended to tone down the protesters but instead because of Schabowski's unclear and ambiguous wording led to an onrush of people willing to leave the country and the accidental opening of the border checkpoints at the same night.

the transition to democracy in East Germany following the Peaceful Revolution, leading to the only truly democratic elections to the Volkskammer of the GDR on 18 March 1990.

the process of German reunification leading to the Einigungsvertrag (Treaty of Unification) on 31 August 1990, the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany on 12 September 1990 and finally the joining of the five re-established East German Länder to the Federal Republic of Germany.In hindsight, the German word Wende (meaning "The Turn") then took on a new meaning; the phrase seit der Wende, literally "since the change", means "since reunification" or "since the Wall fell". This period is marked by West German aid to East Germany, a total reaching an estimated $775 billion over 10 years. To some extent, Germany is still in the midst of the Nachwendezeit (post-Wende period): differences between East and West still exist, and a process of "inner reunification" is not yet finished.

This fundamental change has marked the reunification of Germany. The term was first used publicly in East Germany on 18 October 1989 in a speech by interim GDR leader Egon Krenz (the term having been used on the cover of influential West German news magazine Der Spiegel two days previously). Whilst it initially referred to the end of the old East German government, die Wende has become synonymous with the fall of the Wall and of East Germany, and indeed of the entire Iron Curtain and Eastern Bloc state socialism.

Eisenhower Doctrine

The Eisenhower Doctrine was a policy enunciated by Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 5, 1957, within a "Special Message to the Congress on the Situation in the Middle East". Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, a Middle Eastern country could request American economic assistance or aid from U.S. military forces if it was being threatened by armed aggression. Eisenhower singled out the Soviet threat in his doctrine by authorizing the commitment of U.S. forces "to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of such nations, requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism". The phrase "international communism" made the doctrine much broader than simply responding to Soviet military action. A danger that could be linked to communists of any nation could conceivably invoke the doctrine.

Exercise Verity

Exercise Verity was the only major training exercise of the Western Union (WU). Undertaken in July 1949, it involved 60 warships from the British, French, Belgian and Dutch navies. A contemporary newsreel described this exercise as involving "the greatest assembly of warships since the Battle of Jutland."

Frozen conflict

In international relations, a frozen conflict is a situation in which active armed conflict has been brought to an end, but no peace treaty or other political framework resolves the conflict to the satisfaction of the combatants. Therefore, legally the conflict can start again at any moment, creating an environment of insecurity and instability.

The term has been commonly used for post-Soviet conflicts, but it has also often been applied to other perennial territorial disputes. The de facto situation that emerges may match the de jure position asserted by one party to the conflict; for example, Russia claims and effectively controls Crimea following the 2014 Crimean crisis despite Ukraine's continuing claim to the region. Alternatively, the de facto situation may not match either side's official claim. The division of Korea is an example of the latter situation: both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea officially assert claims to the entire peninsula; however, there exists a well-defined border between the two countries' areas of control.

Frozen conflicts sometimes result in partially recognized states. For example, the Republic of South Ossetia, a product of the frozen Georgian–Ossetian conflict, is recognized by eight other states, including five UN members; the other three of these entities are partially recognized states themselves.


In the Russian language the word Glasnost (; Russian: гла́сность, IPA: [ˈɡɫasnəsʲtʲ] (listen)) has several general and specific meanings. It has been used in Russian to mean "openness and transparency" since at least the end of the eighteenth century.In the Russian Empire of the late-19th century, the term was particularly associated with reforms of the judicial system, ensuring that the press and the public could attend court hearings and that the sentence was read out in public. In the mid-1980s, it was popularised by Mikhail Gorbachev as a political slogan for increased government transparency in the Soviet Union.

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states

The Guerrilla war in the Baltic states or the Forest Brothers resistance movement was the armed struggle against Soviet rule that spanned from 1940 to the mid-1950s. After the occupation of the Baltic territories by the Soviets in 1944, an insurgency started. According to some estimates, 10,000 partisans in Estonia, 10,000 partisans in Latvia and 30,000 partisans in Lithuania and many more supporters were involved. This war continued as an organised struggle until 1956 when the superiority of the Soviet military caused the native population to adopt other forms of resistance. While estimates related to the extent of partisan movement vary, but there seems to be a consensus among researchers that by international standards, the Baltic guerrilla movements were extensive. Proportionally, the partisan movement in the post-war Baltic states was of a similar size as the Viet Cong movement in South Vietnam.


Hoxhaism is a variant of anti-revisionist Marxism–Leninism that developed in the late 1970s due to a split in the Maoist movement, appearing after the ideological dispute between the Communist Party of China and the Party of Labour of Albania in 1978. The ideology is named after Enver Hoxha, a notable Albanian communist leader.

Jamaican political conflict

The Jamaican political conflict is a long standing feud between right-wing and left-wing elements in the country, often exploding into violence. The Jamaican Labor Party and the People's National Party have fought for control of the island for years and the rivalry has encouraged urban warfare in Kingston. Each side believes the other to be controlled by foreign elements, the JLP is said to be backed by the American Central Intelligence Agency and the PNP is said to been backed by the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro.

Johnson Doctrine

The Johnson Doctrine, enunciated by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson after the United States' intervention in the Dominican Republic in 1965, declared that domestic revolution in the Western Hemisphere would no longer be a local matter when "the object is the establishment of a Communist dictatorship". It is an extension of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Doctrines.

List of wars involving Syria

This is a list of wars involving the Arab Republic of Syria since independence, including periods of the Arab Kingdom of Syria (1920), Mandatory Syrian Republic, Syrian Republic (1946–63), United Arab Republic (1958–61) and Ba'athist Syria.

Nixon Doctrine

The Nixon Doctrine (also known as the Guam Doctrine) was put forth during a press conference in Guam on July 25, 1969 by US President Richard Nixon and later formalized in his speech on Vietnamization on November 3, 1969. According to Gregg Brazinsky, Nixon stated that "the United States would assist in the defense and developments of allies and friends", but would not "undertake all the defense of the free nations of the world." This doctrine meant that each ally nation was in charge of its own security in general, but the United States would act as a nuclear umbrella when requested. The Doctrine argued for the pursuit of peace through a partnership with American allies. The Nixon Doctrine implied the intentions of Nixon shifting the direction on international policies in Asia, especially aiming for "Vietnamization of the Vietnam War."

Syrian Crisis

Syrian Crisis may refer to:

Syrian Crisis of 1957

Syrian Civil War (2011 – present)


Titoism is described as the post-World War II policies and practices associated with Josip Broz Tito during the Cold War, characterized by an opposition to the Soviet Union.It usually represents Tito's Yugoslav doctrine in Cold War international politics. It emerged with the Yugoslav Partisans' liberation of Yugoslavia independently of, or without much help from, the Red Army, resulting in Yugoslavia being the only Eastern European country to remain "socialist, but independent" after World War II as well as resisting Soviet Union pressure to become a member of the Warsaw Pact.

Today, Titoism is also used to refer to Yugo-nostalgia, a longing for reestablishment or revival of Yugoslavism or Yugoslavia by the citizens of Yugoslavia's successor states.

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

Western Bloc

The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".

Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

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