From the cover of Ike’s Gamble, by Michael Doran. Simon & Schuster.
When Dwight D. Eisenhower became president of the United States in 1953, Great Britain was facing a crisis in the Arab Middle East. Although it had formally given up much of its empire (as well as its mandate in Palestine), Britain still exercised a great deal of influence through outright protectorates like the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, friendly monarchies like Jordan and Iraq, and a network of military bases. But the linchpin of the system was Egypt, where the United Kingdom had 80,000 troops stationed along the Suez Canal—and Egypt was in danger. King Faruq, the obliging ruler over a British protectorate, had recently been overthrown, and the nationalist military men who had seized power, known as the Free Officers, were publicly demanding that London evacuate its forces from the country.