'Cloak Without Dagger': How the Information Research Department Fought Britain's Cold War in the Middle East, 1948-1956

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Abstract

In 1948, the Foreign Office's Information Research Department (IRD) embarked upon a global anti-Soviet and anti-communist propaganda war. Drawing upon recently declassified records, this article investigates IRD's Middle Eastern Cold War. Outlining IRD's operational methods and the activities in which it engaged, it concludes that although IRD's Middle Eastern operation before the 1956 Suez Crisis must ultimately be regarded as a failure, the frequently employed caricature of IRD as a group of doctrinaire Cold Warriors is misplaced and that, by the eve of the Suez Crisis, IRD had evolved into a flexible instrument of psychological warfare which, in the Middle East, was to be primarily employed against anti-British nationalist movements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-84
Number of pages29
JournalCold War History
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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