The Cold War has been researched in minute detail and written about at great length but it remains one of the most elusive and enigmatic conflicts of modern times. With the ending of the Cold War, it is now possible to review the entire post-war period, to examine the Cold War as history. The Middle East occupies a special place in the history of the Cold War. It was critical to its birth, its life and its demise. In the aftermath of the Second World War, it became one of the major theatres of the Cold War on account of its strategic importance and its oil resources. The key tothe international politics of the Middle East during the Cold War era is the relationship between external powers and local powers. Most of the existing literature on the subject focuses on the policies of the Great Powers towards the local region. The Cold War and the Middle East redresses thebalance by concentrating on the policies of the local actors. It looks at the politics of the region not just from the outside in but from the inside out. The contributors to this volume are leading scholars in the field whose interests combine International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies.