The Baghdad Pact : an Anglo-American quest for policy in the Middle East
Çetiner, Yusuf Turan
Criss, Nur Bilge
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This study considers the making of the Baghdad Pact in the Middle East and analyses the Anglo-American relations around this security organisation. A defense organisation which was to embody states bordering south of the Soviet Union was the American conception of the Nothern Tier project in the first half of the 1950s. The Baghdad Pact eventually represented an adaptation of the Nothern Tier in which Britain was the leading country. The Baghdad Pact to which Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Britain belonged and of which the United States was defined loosely associated was a security organisation designed to entrench the Western positions against the Soviet Union in the Middle East in an era of general instability. The first step towards the forming of a group of Northern Tier States was a treaty of friendship and cooperation signed on 3 April 1954 between Turkey and Pakistan. Subsequently, the Pact between Turkey and Iraq was signed in Baghdad on 24 February 1955. On 5 April, Britain’s formal accession turned the Turkish-Iraqi Pact into the Baghdad Pact. The formation of the Baghdad Pact coincided with chaotic international changes and different perceptions of the regional states especially that of Egypt. From the outset, Gamal Abd-el Nasser, and Egyptian nationalist, and a Pan-Arabist, opposed the Pact and unremittingly blamed the Iraqi government for Joining this British initiative. Nasser’s anti-Pact policies had also effect on the Jordanian government which had problems to control the public sentiment. As a result, Jordan remained outside of the Pact. Despite these developments, American involvement in this alliance remained less extensive than British involvement. Apparently, there were divided views in the US government about the Baghdad Pact and Egypt. Given this premise, the main theme which will be discussed in this dissertation is the Anglo-American policies and their differences around the Baghdad Pact and the events which hampered this security organisation to develop into a long-lasting security mechanism. The failure to accomplish a strong defensive grouping in the Middle East was the end result of the lack of unanimous actions of the US and Britain. British views of the region was contrasted with the American government’s perception of regional dynamics. Ultimately, the US contended itself with observer status in the organisation. In the end, after Iraq’s defection in 1958following the coup of dissident military units, the Baghdad Pact functionally ended.