Britain’s secret Saudi military support programme

by Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis Published in The Daily Maverick, 27 September 2019   The UK’s Ministry of Defence has mistakenly admitted for the first time the cost of a secret multibillion-pound programme it manages for the Saudi Arabian royal family’s de facto protection force, which is also active in the devastating war in […]

British government continues to aid repression in human rights-abusing countries, new data shows

by Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard Published in The Daily Maverick, 20 September 2019   The British government is continuing to approve the export of hi-tech surveillance equipment and software of the type that is being used by states abusing human rights to monitor and repress dissent, new government figures show. The government’s exports of […]

Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt: On the Middle East, it makes no difference

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 25 June 2019 The contest to become the leader of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, and the country’s next prime minister, has failed so far to involve media scrutiny of the candidates’ views on British foreign policy. With the focus on Brexit and media attention on the personal life of Boris […]

Why the West’s World War One carve-up is still unfinished business

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 17 November 2018 One hundred years ago this month, the guns of the European powers may well have fallen silent after four years of war. But in the Middle East, many of those same powers were creating the conditions for a century of further conflict. Decisions taken […]

Will the US and UK seek a palace coup against Mohammed bin Salman?

by Mark Curtis published in Middle East Eye, 25 October 2018 As Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) comes under increasing pressure over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, policymakers in Washington and London have one overriding priority: to preserve the House of Saud, a military and economic ally in which they have invested so […]

Are the US and UK empowering al-Qaeda in Yemen?

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 7 September 2018 A recent investigation by the Associated Press found that militias in Yemen backed by the Saudi-led coalition, of which the US and UK are a de facto part, have been recruiting hundreds of al-Qaeda militants to fight Houthi forces to reinstate the ousted government […]

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 […]

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 […]

Saudi Arabia: Declassified

These files on Saudi Arabia highlight arms deals with the UK, its policy of keeping the House of Saud in power, the UK’s role in the creation of the country and a covert role in a palace coup, among other things Documents Saudi Arabia, 1963-75 (Mark Curtis files from the National Archives) Foreign Office, Memorandum […]

Corbyn’s Labour party should promote more moderation, less extremism in UK foreign policy

by Mark Curtis Labour’s manifesto pledges several clear breaks from current UK foreign policy which could be seen as radical given the present extremism. I recently outlined seven such policies which the UK establishment will fight bitterly.[1] But if the manifesto is implemented in its current form, it is likely to still promote extremism in […]