PUS’s Planning Committee: ‘Comments received from posts on paper entitled “Sources and means of influence in the modern world’”, 4 December 1968

Notes that a paper was circulated to posts in August. “Several comments emphasised that, as our power to intervene militarily in various parts of the world was reduced, the importance of our non-military effort overseas particularly such aspects as information work and diplomatic persuasion would significantly increase”. Paper then notes seven proposals on aid. “(i) […]

Denis Allen, Permanent Under Secretary, FCO, to all heads of post, 16 August 1968

Encloses a paper which “attempts to expand the Secretary of State’s thoughts on the sources and means of influence in the modern world”, whose contents “have been generally approved”. Paper: “Sources and means of influence in the modern world”, July 1968 “It is this distribution of our economic interests, deriving in many cases from our […]

Permanent Under Secretary’s Steering Committee, Review Committee on Overseas Representation: The basic assumptions, 14 October 1968

Foreign Office paper endorsed by the Foreign Secretary and circulated for information. “The basic aims of our overseas policy are peace, prosperity and freedom for Britain. They are not divisible. International instability prejudices our prosperity as well as our freedom… The scene for the conduct of external policy has been revolutionised not only by sophisticated […]

FCO, UN Department Paper, ‘The New International Economic Order’, January 1975

“The aspect of the New International Order [sic] which has attracted most attention is the altered distribution of economic power, as exemplified with particular prominence by…OPEC… The so-called ‘new international economic order’ is, in fact, a set of demands by developing countries for control of their own natural resources, transfer of resources to them by […]

Are British ministers consistently misleading parliament on their Middle East policy?

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 17 May 2018   Two British ministers have recently been forced to resign for misleading parliament. Last month, Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned, saying she had mistakenly misled parliament over whether her department had targets for deporting illegal immigrants. Last December, Damian Green, who was effectively Theresa […]

How Britain engaged in a covert operation to overthrow Assad

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 25 April 2018 Some commentators in the British mainstream media believe the UK has “done nothing” in the war in Syria and lament the failure to help stop it. In fact, Britain has engaged in a covert operation with allies to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad for more than […]

When it comes to Middle East policy, the UK is nothing but a rogue state

Published in Middle East Eye, 6 April 2018 by Mark Curtis In the current crisis with Moscow, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has written that “Russia cannot break international rules with impunity”. Britain, along with Russia, has a particular obligation to uphold international law since it is one of the five permanent members of the […]

What will be the blowback for UK government after Libya revelations?

Article published in Middle East Eye, 5 April 2018 By Mark Curtis   The revelation that the British government likely had contacts with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and the 17 February Martyrs Brigade during the 2011 war in Libya – groups for which the 2017 Manchester bomber and his father reportedly fought at […]

For the British political elite, the invasion of Iraq never happened

Article published in Middle East Eye, 19 March 2018 March 20th marks the 15th anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq which plunged the country into a brutal occupation leading to sectarian civil war, terrorism and a death toll of hundreds of thousands. Yet in Britain the anniversary marks another year of impunity for the […]

Why the UK must rethink its support for Saudi Arabia

Article published in Middle East Eye, 2 March 2018 by Mark Curtis Government policies are meant to promote the national interest but the upcoming visit to the UK of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman highlights something quite different – Whitehall’s pursuit of a special relationship that endangers the British public. Theresa May says the […]