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British policy in the Persian Gulf from 1961 to 1968 cannot be understood unless it is placed in the context of what was regarded by the decision-makers in authority as Britain’s role in the area. To the Foreign Office and the men on the spot, Britain’s informal empire in the Gulf was upheld through an interdependent system of military power, formal treaty rights, and political influence, and it was based on the trust and confidence of the local rulers. This system was not confined to the nine treaty-bound protected states. The British decision-makers were convinced that Britain’s policy towards Qatar, Bahrain, and the Trucial States could not be separated or seen in isolation from British relations with, and interests in, Kuwait and Oman. It was this conception of informal empire that characterized Britain’s political strategies in the Persian Gulf from 1961 to 1968.
KeywordsSaudi Arabia Local Ruler Protected State Interdependent System Arab League
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