British Policy in the Persian Gulf, 1961–1968: Conceptions by Helene von Bismarck

By Helene von Bismarck

An in-depth research of significant Britain's coverage within the oil-rich Persian Gulf sector over the last years of British imperialism within the zone, overlaying the interval from the independence of Kuwait to the choice of the Wilson executive to withdraw from the Gulf.

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Extra info for British Policy in the Persian Gulf, 1961–1968: Conceptions of Informal Empire

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92 Despite the different constitutional status of Kuwait and Oman on the one hand, and the nine protected states on the other, in the eyes of the British Government the Persian Gulf remained throughout the 1960s an interdependent area in which Britain’s policy had to be coordinated to guarantee the preservation of British interests. The organization of Britain’s diplomatic representation in the area reflected this perception. 3 Oil in the Persian Gulf At the beginning of the 1960s, more than three-fifths of the world’s proven oil reserves were located in the Middle East.

78 In addition to its responsibility for political relations between the British Government and the rulers of the Persian Gulf, the political residency also played an important coordinating role for Britain’s military presence in the area. 79 Until 1961, Britain’s military presence in the Persian Gulf itself consisted of a small navy station in Bahrain, and RAF bases and staging posts in Sharjah, Bahrain, and in Oman at Salalah, and on Masirah Island. 80 Every week, the respective commanders of the different British services in the Persian Gulf met at the political residency to discuss questions involving the military security of the area and the British forces stationed there.

His responsibilities also extended to the formally independent and sovereign Sultanate of Muscat and Oman. 90 However, the consul-general reported to the political resident, who frequently visited Oman and undertook to discuss matters of great importance personally with the sultan. 92 Despite the different constitutional status of Kuwait and Oman on the one hand, and the nine protected states on the other, in the eyes of the British Government the Persian Gulf remained throughout the 1960s an interdependent area in which Britain’s policy had to be coordinated to guarantee the preservation of British interests.

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