Britain’s seven covert wars: An Explainer

By Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard Published in The Daily Maverick, 17 September 2019   The United Kingdom is fighting at least seven covert wars largely outside parliamentary or democratic oversight. The British government states that its policy on the covert wars it fights is “not to comment, and to dissuade others from commenting or […]

What the latest secret government file tells us about UK Middle East policy

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 31 May 2019 The British government is refusing to release a 1941 file on Palestine, as it might “undermine the security” of Britain and its citizens. Why would a 78-year-old document be seen as so sensitive in 2019? One plausible reason is that it could embarrass the British government in […]

Julian Assange should be thanked – not smeared – for Wikileaks’ service to journalism

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 21 October 2018 Twelve years ago this month, WikiLeaks began publishing government secrets that the world public might otherwise never have known. What it has revealed about state duplicity, human rights abuses and corruption goes beyond anything published in the world’s “mainstream” media. On 14 October Ecuador partly restored […]

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 […]

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 […]

Iraq: Declassified

These declassified files on Iraq highlight the propaganda campaign in 2003, government meetings with oil companies before the invasion as well as UK covert campaigns to help Baghdad regimes slaughter Kurds in the 1960s, among other policies. Documents 1960s coup and wars against the Kurds The 1963 coup (Mark Curtis files from the National Archives) […]

The UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund: Diverting Aid and Undermining Human Rights

Report for Global Justice Now (December 2017) The UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) raises all kinds of questions about the future of UK aid, the nature of the UK’s relations with states abusing human rights and the government’s openness with the public. Established in 2015, the CSSF is a £1 billion annual […]

Kuwait: Defending a regime, fabricating a threat

This is an edited extract from Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World by Mark Curtis The 1991 Gulf War against Iraq was not the first time Britain had conducted a military intervention in support of Kuwait; Britain also intervened in Kuwait thirty years before. Then, Britain was desperate to protect its oil […]

UK General Election: What are the foreign policy implications?

by Mark Curtis Published in New Internationalist, 18 May 2017 The upcoming election has two key features. One is that voters have a genuine choice for the first time in a generation. But the other is that media disinformation backing current foreign policy and attacking Jeremy Corbyn is so great that the election cannot possibly […]

The Iraq propaganda campaign

By Mark Curtis An edited extract from Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses Politics has been described as many things but in Britain currently a good summary is that it is the art of deceiving the public. Clare Short, after resigning her position as International Development Secretary, told a parliamentary inquiry of ‘a series of […]