The Yom Kippur War was the last in a series of conventional wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors that convulsed the second half of the 20th century.  It is also one of the great — and largely understudied — hinge points of history.  In the Middle East, what began as a surprise attack against the Jewish State on Judaism’s holiest day paradoxically marked the start of an improbable journey toward a new regional peace. For the wider Cold War, the Arab-Israeli upheaval brought the superpowers closer to nuclear cataclysm than any point after the Cuban Missile Crisis; it also set the conditions for the United States to outflank the Soviet Union and emerge as the preeminent power in the Levant, while consigning Moscow to the fringes of the region where it would remain for decades. And for the world economy, October 1973 would unleash equally epic change — as the Arab oil embargo smashed and then remade Western industry.

This Weekend Seminar, taught by foreign policy scholar Vance Serchuk, will study the dramatic events surrounding the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. Students will consider the war as a case study in the exercise of military, diplomatic, and economic power, analyzing the collision of rival U.S., Soviet, Israeli, and Arab strategies. The seminar will also explore the larger-than-life personalities at the center of the conflict — Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Leonid Brezhnev, Anwar Sadat, and Golda Meir — examining how the character and decisions of these individual leaders shaped the course of the war and its aftermath.

Images courtesy CIA via WikiCommons, Israeli troops | Israeli tanks

Vance Serchuk on American interventions abroad

Faculty

Vance Serchuk

Vance Serchuk is Executive Director of the KKR Global Institute and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Prior to joining KKR, Mr. Serchuk served for six years as the senior national security advisor to Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut).

Preview the Syllabus by Week/Session

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