This thesis is a history of a hitherto unexplored dimension of Britain’s engagement with the post-war Middle East with a particular focus on intelligence and security aspects. More specifically, it examines the counter-subversive policies and measures conducted by the British Intelligence and Security Services, and Britain’s secret propaganda apparatus, the Information Research Department (IRD) of the Foreign Office, in Middle Eastern countries, such as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iran, during the period between 1949 and 1963. This thesis is also about intelligence liaison – the relationship between British Intelligence and Security Services and their Middle Eastern counterparts. This thesis argues that the British Empire declined between 1949 and 1963; in this, intelligence was understood by British policymakers as a tool to maintain British influence and preserve British strategic and economic interests in the Middle East. The imperial drive derived from a mixture of strategic and economic interests in the region but it was Britain’s anti-Communist attitudes which were shared with Middle Eastern governments. This was the context in which intelligence liaison was established between Britain and Middle Eastern states on the basis of their common interests. Although Britain’s anti-Communist policy contributed to preventing the spread of Communist movements in the region, it sought to strengthen the repressive capability of Middle Eastern governments which undermined their own political position by their repressiveness. An unintended consequence was that the Middle Eastern governments conducted counter-subversion not only against Communists, but also their own people. This thesis concludes that Britain’s anti-Communist policy sustained British influence and British interests in the region in the short term, but failed to sustain its objectives in the long term. It demonstrates the importance of common interests in encouraging intelligence liaison and the significance of conflicting interests in restricting it.
|Date of Award||14 Jan 2014|
|Supervisor||Leonard Scott (Supervisor) & James Vaughan (Supervisor)|
British Intelligence, Counter-Subversion, and "Informal Empire" in the Middle East, 1949-63
Hashimoto, C. (Author). 14 Jan 2014
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of Philosophy