The perils of ambiguity: The United States and the baghdad pact

Elie Podeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


On February 24, 1955, Iraq and Turkey signed a military pact, which would later develop into a wider organization, encompassing Britain, Pakistan, and Iran. The Baghdad Pact (BP), as it came to be known, was devised to interlock with a chain of alliances already surrounding the Soviet Union, such as NATO, SEATO, and ANZUS. From a Western perspective, the role of the BP was to defend the Middle East from the Soviet “menace.” In many respects, the formation of the BP was a consummation of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles’ Northern Tier concept, devised following his Middle East tour as US secretary of state in May 1953. Though supporting it behind the scenes and joining some of its committees, the United States never formally joined the BP. Instead, in early 1957 it launched the Eisenhower Doctrine, which largely superseded the pact.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Middle East and the United States
Subtitle of host publicationHistory, Politics, and Ideologies, UPDATED 2013 EDITION
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780429961335
ISBN (Print)9780813349145
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012, 2014 Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.
Published again in "The Middle East and the United States, Student Economy Edition", 2018.


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