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 […]

FCO, Planning Staff draft paper, ‘British objectives and priorities in Africa South of the Sahara, 1976-80’, November 1975

“Traditionally, from the days of trade in slaves and ivory, Africa has supplied natural products to Europe and received finished goods in exchange”. New UK investment in Sub-Saharan Africa was £148.1m or 9.1% of all overseas investment in 1973 – of that, 5.4% was to South Africa. Total stock of UK investment in SSA in […]

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 […]

Russia / USSR: Declassified

Documents Thatcher/Gorbachev, 1980s ‘The Thatcher-Gorbachev Conversations’, 1987-9 (7 documents, National Security Archive) British assessments of Gorbachev, 1984/1987 (National Security Archive, 2016) ‘Record of Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher, 23 September 1989’ (National Security Archive) ‘British Ambassador to the USSR Sir Rodric Braithwaite’s Telegram to Douglas Hurd, 8 December 1989’ (National Security Archive) ‘Thatcher […]

The UN: A brief history of the UK’s long opposition

By Mark Curtis An edited extract from Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses In the mainstream, the official view is that British governments provide enduring support to the United Nations. The opposite is true: it is clear from the historical record that the UN has traditionally been seen as a major threat. Britain’s ambassador to […]

British coups and oil in Central Asia

This is an edited extract from Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam by Mark Curtis By 1994, the Pakistani military under Benazir Bhutto’s government was training hundreds of Chechens, Uzbeks and Tajiks at camps in Afghanistan in techniques of guerilla warfare, the aim being to export Islamist revolution in the Central Asian region and […]