Unpredictable and potentially inflammable, the Middle East is currently experiencing an unusual degree of tranquillity and stability. For the United States this is a moment for satisfaction, if not yet of optimism or rejoicing.
The U.S. has played a major role in producing a climate of greater realism in which some Arab states are prepared to recognize Israel, if certain conditions are met, and in which the desire to resort to armed force to obtain a solution has been significantly reduced. It was the chief force in achieving in August, 1970, a cease-fire, now over thirty months old, between Egypt and Israel. It has reached an understanding with the Soviet Union on the need to prevent acts of hostility in the area and to localize any conflicts that occur. It has maintained the balance of power in the area by its supply of arms and aid to Israel without forfeiting all relationships with Arab states.