With tensions flaring between Israel and Hamas—the Palestinian based terror organization—it is a perfect opportunity for the United States to look back, and learn from the strategic diplomacy President Nixon pursued to re-stabilize the Middle East after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
President Nixon knew early involvement in the conflict would be futile, and could potentially weaken the United States’ ability to barter a future cease-fire.
“I saw no point in trying to impose a diplomatic cease-fire that neither side wanted or could be expected to observe… I believe that only a battlefield stalemate would provide the foundation on which fruitful negotiations might begin. Any equilibrium—even if only an equilibrium of mutual exhaustion—would make it easier to reach an enforceable settlement.”
President Nixon’s calculated involvement, and diplomatic maneuvering meant “for the first time in an Arab-Israeli conflict the United States conducted itself in a manner that not only preserved but greatly enhanced our relations with Arabs—even while we were massively resupplying the Israelis.”
The Nixon administration’s ability to stabilize relations between Israel, Egypt and Syria in the resolution of the Yom Kippur War created the diplomatic relationships that would result in the later Camp David Peace Accords under President Carter.