For nearly twenty years, from the mid-fifties to the mid-seventies, the USSR was able to gain influence in the Middle East and consolidate this influence by exploiting conflicts resulting chiefly from the maintenance of old colonial borders and from tribal rivalries. This was followed by nearly a decade of maturing conflicts among its own clients and other states wooed by Moscow. The most important examples are the Iran-Iraq war and the deep-rooted discord between Syria and the PLO. Outmaneuvered politically for a while, the Kremlin seems to have settled on a policy of trying to soothe the endemic conflicts—which is difficult—and channelling the somewhat diffuse resentments in the region at the behavior of the US, Israel, and Egypt into an anti-US and anti-Israeli direction, which is easier to accomplish but by no means without risks given the instability of power constellation.