Iraq and Syria also had strained relations, and the Iraqis refused to join the initial offensive. Lebanon , which shared a border with Israel, was not expected to join the Arab war effort because of its small army and already evident instability. The months before the war saw Sadat engage in a diplomatic offensive to try to win support for the war. By the fall of 1973, he claimed the backing of more than a hundred states. These were most of the countries of the Arab League , Non-Aligned Movement , and Organization of African Unity . Sadat had also worked to curry favour in Europe and had some success before the war. Britain and France for the first time sided with the Arab powers against Israel on the United Nations Security Council .
Muhammad Ali Pasha evolved the military from one that convened under the tradition of the corvée to a great modernised army. He introduced conscription of the male peasantry in 19th century Egypt, and took a novel approach to create his great army, strengthening it with numbers and in skill. Education and training of the new soldiers was not an option; the new concepts were furthermore enforced by isolation. The men were held in barracks to avoid distraction of their growth as a military unit to be reckoned with. The resentment for the military way of life eventually faded from the men and a new ideology took hold, one of nationalism and pride. It was with the help of this newly reborn martial unit that Muhammad Ali imposed his rule over Egypt. 
In regard to the Arab leadership, particularly venomous was the feud between Nasser and the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nuri el-Said, for Arab leadership, with the Cairo-based Voice of the Arabs radio station regularly calling for the overthrow of the government in Baghdad.  The most important factors that drove Egyptian foreign policy in this period was on the one hand, a determination to see the entire Middle East as Egypt's rightful sphere of influence, and on the other, a tendency on the part of Nasser to fortify his pan-Arabist and nationalist credibility by seeking to oppose any and all Western security initiatives in the Near East.