When the Yom Kippur War broke out, Israel turned to the United States, asking for quick replacement of the arms it was losing in the war. It took more than a week before the Americans launched a massive airlift to Israel, consisting of the supply Israel was asking for. The feeling in Israel, and in later historiography, is that the Nixon administration had deliberately delayed the airlift for reasons that are subject to historiographical debate. Some put the blame on James Schlesinger, the secretary of defense, and some on Henry Kissinger, the secretary of state and the president’s national security adviser. This article suggests a different explanation, according to which on the one hand, for the Americans, the delay was not really a delay, and on the second hand, the way Israel made the requests did not transmit to the administration the sense of urgency the Israelis were feeling.


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pp. 29-54
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