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In 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser emerged victorious in the Suez conflict after the British, French, and Israeli forces were forced to withdraw. In 1967 however, Nasser suffered a devastating loss in the Six-Day War against Israel. What caused such different outcomes for Nasser?

Naser’s success in 1956 was largely due to his efforts to build up Egypt’s political power and military strength as well as an unprecedented level of international support from other non-aligned nations. In contrast, when war broke out again between Egypt and Israel in 1967, many of these same factors had changed for the worse for Nasser.

First and foremost was the shift in U.S.-Egyptian relations and diplomatic support that occurred following the Suez Crisis of 1956. Initially, U.S.-Egyptian relations were strong with American officials supporting Arab states like Egypt that had anti-colonial aspirations or aims to gain independence from British or French colonial rule (Brown & Razvi 2019). This helped incentivize Soviet engagement with countries like India or Egypt who received limited American aid (Gause 2020). However this began to change shortly after the Suez conflict when Dwight Eisenhower made it clear that he did not want any foreign country intervening or escalating conflicts without first consulting Washington (Gause 2020; Brown & Razvi 2019).  This caused serious tensions between Cairo and Washington which eventually resulted in declining levels of American diplomatic and economic assistance being provided to Egypt over time (Gause 2020; Brown & Razvi 2019). On top of this growing rift with America what proved especially damaging for Nasser was that Soviet diplomatic backing dwindled during this period as well due to worsening relations with Moscow following Khrushchev’s death (Gause 2020). Consequently by 1967 there was much less International diplomatic support available compared to 1956 meaning there were fewer potential allies willing help provide financial assistance or military hardware necessary for victory on any kind of large scale .

Alongside deteriorating diplomatic ties there also came significant changes within both Egyptian politics itself as well as its armed forces since 1956 which altered how prepared they were militarily when war broke out again eleven years later.. Following his triumph at Suez Nasser launched an ambitious program known widely today has ‘Arab socialism’ aimed at spreading social reform throughout various Middle Eastern countries including his own based on ideas stemming from Marxism–Leninism but also incorporating some elements from Islam into it too(Petersson 1999) . To facilitate these goals he established nationalized industries reallocated land more equitably , disbanded traditional ruling families ,a nd increased taxes significantly all across Egypt increasing state revenues dramatically (Alkhateeb 2017 2014 ).However economically speaking this strategy had mixed results at best often frustrating lower class citizens while failing entirely enriching middle classes leaving them feeling ignored despite their critical importance politically speaking.( Alkhateeb 2017 ) Militarily speaking too things weren’t particularly productive either even if they appeared so initially: The investments made into improved training programs better equipment etc only seemed valuable because they only worked temporarily leading ultimately lacklustre performance when faced opponents capable countering tactics used by regular army units prompting need special forces instead something wasn’t present until very late stage conflict therefore did nothing stave off defeat once it began occurring( Petersson 1999 ).

Finally strategic errors committed by some high ranking officers exacerbated already dire situation brought about previous missteps further weakening resolve field troops weakened morale making them susceptible enemy advances leaving little chance successful defense against larger force than their own over extended front lines(Dalgleish 2018 ). All together then combination these issues related nationalization socialism fund allocation weak alliance formations lack training inadequate supplies poor strategic planning among others put strain upon existing resources enough eventually cause devastating defeat at hands most powerful regional opponent: Israel .

As can seen then benefits achieved through decisive victory Suez Conflict quickly dissipated following end confrontation 11 years before resulting sudden reversal fortunes ultimately culminating devastating loss face latter one 1967 War effectively ending hopes reclaim lands Sinai Jordan West Bank Golan Heights plus Gaza Strip entirety shortly thereafter along creating lasting mistrust towards foreign powers part populace affecting region long afterwards.( Dalgleish 2018 ) Through looking changes since prior campaign we can begin understand why outcome two wars differed greatly despite similar antagonists playing roles each yet still realizing greater lesson understanding ramifications all choices taken whether right wrong determine outcomes situations no matter how minor may seem start — regardless leader involved size amount resources employed situation might be.


Alkhateeb A., M.,& Yaseen, H.,M.(2017)The Role Of Socialism And Nationalization Policy Of Gamal Abdelnacer In Egyptian Labor Perfomance Between 1952_1970. Globe journal management science 4:3 595_605

Brown T.,E.,&Razvi SMHX.(2019)American Support For Decolonization Processes During The Cold War :A Compromise Between Realpolitik And Principles ? Diplomacy & Statecraft 30:1 1_26

Dalgleish J.(2018)The Road To Disaster :Explaining The Six Day War Of 1967 Journal Contemporary History 53:2 294_312

Gause F,.K.(2020)Alliances And Their Impact On Foreign Policy Decisions . Political Science Quarterly 135:4 705 – 738

Petersson O.,T(1999 )Analysis Of Nationalisation Measures Taken By President Gamal Abdul Nassers Government 1954 -196 3With Regard His Socialist Ideology University Stockholm MA Program Economic History

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