The Suez Crisis: Egypt

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The Suez Crisis: Egypt Decisionmaking Theories Brian Donovan POLS 429 Mark Skorick May 1, 2004 Introduction The second half of 1956 marked a major turning point in the balance of power in the Middle East. In that year, a crisis erupted because of circumstances surrounding the ownership of the Suez Canal and the belligerence of the Egyptians. The decisions made during this crisis not only affected the region, but they also affected the world because of the bipolar stalemate that existed with the Cold War. Therefore, it is essential to analyze the decision making process that took place during the Suez Crisis of 1956 because of its implications, both on a domestic level inside of Egypt and also on an international level. Decision Making Theories In the realm of foreign policy, there are a myriad of decisions made on a daily basis that, in someway, will affect the country on a domestic level. During the Suez Crisis, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was responsible for making these decisions, in hopes of strengthening the welfare of Egypt. Nasser would want to make decisions that were in the best interest of his country and would not purposefully lead his country astray. Therefore, he had to consult different decision making theories, so that he would be able to make the best possible choices for his country. Two of the theories he used in making these decisions are the rational choice and cybernetic models. The rational choice model is a normative model, because it reflects the idea of “how people ‘should’ make decisions.”[1] Leaders who use this model, use a system of cost-benefit analysis in order to determine what the benefit of a particular decision is versus the cost that may be accrued. This model is holistic, and considers all options and alternatives before reaching a verdict of some sort. Ultimately, actors do what they believe is
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