The raw truth about the UK’s special relationship with Israel

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 5 June 2018   Britain has a special relationship with Israel that is little recognised in the mainstream media but unmissable in light of the killings in Gaza. With more than 110 protesters dead, Britain is in effect defending Israeli actions. The British government has not, as […]

Cyprus: Declassified

Documents Cabinet Minutes, 129/90, November 1957, National Archives (pages 47, 85 and 127) ‘US embassy cables: UK foreign office tries to smooth relations with US over Cyprus flights’ (US Embassy UK, 20 May 2008) Articles  1950s ‘”An assault upon the people”’ (Cyprus Mail, 31 May 2015) ‘Grivas: a generally bitter man’ (Cyprus Mail, 28 October […]

Chiefs of Staff Committee, Joint Planning Staff, ‘Role of the colonial territories in peace and war: report by the Joint Planning Staff’, 8 January 1958

“It has been agreed by the Chiefs of Staff that the role of the colonial territories in general terms should be: (a) to provide for their own internal security, first to release the forces of the strategic reserve during the present cold war from debilitating diversions and, secondly, to ensure the stability of the colonies […]

Chiefs of Staff Committee, Joint Planning Staff, ‘The effect of nuclear sufficiency: Report by the Joint Planning Staff’, 27 January 1958

“The United Kingdom policy will therefore, in the era of nuclear sufficiency, be dictated by three main considerations: (a) to remain a nuclear power and by so doing to exercise a major independent influence in the councils of the world, in particular with the United States…[two others]”. National Archives: DEFE 4/104

Memorandum from Maj-Gen. Kenneth Strong, Director General of Intelligence, MOD, to Chief of the Defence Staff, ‘Soviet/American bilateralism’, 22 June 1964

“Now that competition between the two social systems has moved from the military to the economic sphere, it may be that the US believe that the advantage will lie with that system which is more successful in removing national obstacles to the growth of trade and other forms of economic cooperation. Or secondly, it could […]

Brief for the Chief of the Defence Staff, ‘Likely scale and nature of attacks on UK’, JIC (64)5, 9 July 1964

The “estimated weight of attack [from the Soviet Union] is from some 330 weapons in the megaton range…The weight of [a Soviet attack] would clearly be smaller should the West strike first, in which case the Soviets would be reduced to a retaliatory strike from their remaining forces”. A previous attempt was made by the […]

Nuclear/chemical: Declassified

These files highlight UK plans to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East, help given to Iran and Israel to acquire chemical weapons and the Prime Minister’s exclusion of Cabinet to procure Trident, among other policies. Documents   ‘UK civil servants reassure US that Trident will be replaced, whatever Brown may say’ (US Embassy, UK, […]

Seven moderate foreign policies in Labour’s manifesto that are unacceptable to the extremist British elite

by Mark Curtis “We will put conflict resolution and human rights at the heart of foreign policy, commit to working through the UN, end support for unilateral aggressive wars of intervention and back effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis”. Whitehall will hope these are the kinds of empty words spoken by most governments. But […]

Britain’s Post-Brexit Foreign Policy Is Becoming Clearer – And It’s Not Pretty

Published in the Huffington Post, 16 November 2016 The likely shape of British foreign policy post-Brexit is slowly emerging five months on from the 23 June referendum, and the picture is extremely concerning from any ethical viewpoint. Britain is on course to ignore human rights in its foreign policy even more than in the recent […]

Unilateral nuclear disarmament, 1960

Cabinet Office, ‘Future Policy Study 1960-70: Part III: The Main Objectives of the United Kingdom’s Overseas and Strategic Policy’, January 1960 ‘…Unilateral nuclear disarmament is, of course, within our power. But, although it could be represented as setting a good example, any such action would be gravely damaging to our continued security and would undermine […]