Evaluate the role played by the USA in the Suez Crisis of 1956.

What were the main causes of the 1956-7 Suez Crisis. (20 marks)
The Suez Crisis of 1956 was mainly Egypt on one hand with Britain, France and Israel on the other whilst the United States, The Soviet union and the United Nations played major roles. There were several causes of the Suez Crisis of 1956-7, though in this essay I will be focusing on the role of the USA in the crisis, the main aggressors in the crisis and the reasons why perhaps Britain and France had felt such aggression was necessary whilst dealing with Nasser. The USA played a major role in the Suez Crisis. The Suez crisis happened at the time of the Cold war, Nasser tried to take advantage of the by playing the USA and the USSR against each other. The USA might even have been willing to play along until Nasser officially recognised the Republic of china which was a communist state, something which at that time was not something the USA could support. Dulles decided to call Nasser’s bluff and refused to finance the building of the Aswan High dam. Dulles stated that he chose to do this because he felt that competing for Nasser’s was probably going to be an expensive process. One that Dulles desperately wished to avoid. The USA had in fact pulled out of the Aswan High dam project after Nasser had stated that he was willing to obtain arms from the Soviet Union since the USA had refused to supply Egypt with arms. However although the USA was against the way Nasser ran Egypt and his turning to the USSR, the USA did not condone the use of the British and French military to invade Egypt. The USA put economic pressure on Britain in order to force them to cease fire. Although the USA played a large role in the Suez crisis the main aggressor in my opinion was Britain, France and Israel. The Israel raids in Gaza forced Nasser to take a stand against them. France’s increasing dislike of Nasser due to him supporting the rebels in Algeria fighting against French rule led to France providing Israel with arms and refusing to do the same thing with Egypt. This led him to buy arms through the USSR via Czechoslovakia. Nasser said, “I told the French Ambassador that as long as his country supplied Israel with arms, France should supply us as well. Agreement was reached, but France cancelled this two weeks ago. I also asked for arms from the USSR and Czechoslovakia. I told the British and US ambassadors last June that f their countries did not supply me with arms I would have to obtain them from the USSR. It was not possible for me to remain silent while Israel imported weapons for her army from several sources and posed a constant threat to us. Britain’s occupation of Egypt is in fact what led to

don’t you understand?” Israel in fact had not been involved in the Suez crisis but Ben-Gurion.there being such an anti-British feeling among the people of Egypt as well as some people feeling that British hostility towards Egypt was what led to the USA pulling out of the Aswan High dam. had seen this as an opportunity for Israel to teach Egypt and the Arabs a lesson as well as force Nasser and Egypt to officially recognise Israel. led to Britain feeling that Nasser. needed to be stopped before his territorial ambitions grew too great. Israel was in fact the only country out of the three that invaded Egypt that achieved its goal. which was an anti-communist alliance of which Britain was in fact a member. Britain. Eden had a great hatred of Nasser and once even shouted at an advisor. who was now seen as being a Hitler figure. This and Jordan rejecting the request for Jordan to join the Baghdad pact. Chawanzi Mwale . the Israeli Prime Minister. One of the incidents that caused Britain to be alarmed by Nassers growing influence was the incident in Jordan 1956. Nasser was careful to ensure that when he nationalised the Suez Canal in response to the USA’s withdrawal of funding for the Aswan High dam he did so in a way that would ensure there was no pretext for British and French military intervention. I believe that although the USA played a vital role in the Suez Crisis. Also the British prime Minister. This was so he could obtain the funding necessary for the Aswan High dam which angered Britain and the USA as perhaps they had hoped the Aswan High dam project falling through would enable the people of Egypt to overthrow Nasser. King Hussein of Jordan dismissed the British commander of the Jordanian army. the main participants in it were Egypt. To conclude. This is due to the fact that I feel the USA was not as directly involved as the countries mentioned above were. To me it’s almost as though the USA played a secondary role in the whole crisis. they were able to destroy the Fedayeen bases as well as stop the border raids. Anthony Eden’s hatred of dictators made his attitude towards Egypt much harsher than it needed to be. “I want him destroyed. France and Israel. Sir John Glubb.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful