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 […]

Steering Committee of the Future Policy Group, ‘The future of Anglo-American relations’, Draft, October 1959

“For the last yeo [sic] years Anglo-American relations have been extremely good. We have succeeded in consolidating and extending our position as the first ally of the United States and the coordination of policy between the two governments has never been so far-reaching and satisfactory. As long as this situation continues, the basis of our […]

British foreign policy, ‘The scope for change’, 1974

J.Cable to staff in PUS Planning Committee, 12 February 1974 Cover note attaching a report: “British Foreign Policy: the scope for change”. Notes that the FCO Planning Staff have produced this paper “as a basis for discussion by the Planning Committee of the changes that might have to be made in British foreign policy to […]

Cabinet Defence and Oversea [sic] Policy Committee, ‘Issue of foreign policy’, 1970

Cabinet Defence and Oversea [sic] Policy Committee, ‘Issue of foreign policy: A memorandum by officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’, 29 June 1970 “It will be important to ensure that, as Western Europe develops, it retains a close partnership with the United States. We shall wish to keep our special links with the United […]

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 […]

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 […]

United States: Declassified

Documents ‘US embassy cables: Fox outlines Conservative approach to special relationship’ (US Embassy, UK, 3 December 2010) ‘US embassy cables: Fears over safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons’ (US Embassy, UK 22 September 2009) ‘US embassy cables: Americans discuss British “paranoia” over special relationship’ (US Embassy, UK, 9 February 2009) ‘US embassy cables: Hague praises the […]

The Manchester Bombing as Blowback: The latest evidence

A Briefing by Mark Curtis[1] and Nafeez Ahmed[2] 3 June 2017 (This briefing will be updated as more evidence emerges. Sources are overwhelmingly from mainstream media, except where clearly stated). A PDF version of this briefing is available here ** Introduction The evidence suggests that the barbaric Manchester bombing, which killed 22 innocent people on […]

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 […]