By W. Taylor Fain (auth.)
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Extra info for American Ascendance and British Retreat in the Persian Gulf Region
60 Besides, they argued, the Persian Gulf was an area of British military responsibility. S. Army and the Army Air Forces were engaged in designing a joint war plan that relied heavily on the atomic bomb and that would defeat the Soviet Union within six months. Access to Persian Gulf oil would be unnecessary in such a war. Between late 1946 and 1949, the JWPC formulated a number of strategies to incorporate Western assets in the Middle East into the larger plans of the United States to defeat the Soviet Union.
Both were reluctant and were much more concerned with the problems of communist insurgency in Malaya and Indochina than with the oil fields and air facilities of the Middle East. South Africa, too, proved reluctant to commit resources to the region. The Afrikaner government in Pretoria was moving away from a cooperative relationship with the British and instead chose to emphasize its military role of “keeping order” in sub-Saharan Africa. In short, the diverging security interests of Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, coupled with the growing political independence of the commonwealth members, made it impossible for London to find support for its Middle Eastern defense plans among its closest overseas partners.
S. interests in Iran, though related to British interests in the country, were distinctly different. British policymakers were preoccupied by the effects of Mussadiq’s nationalization policy on Britain’s balance of payments, the flow of oil to British industry and to the Royal Navy, and on London’s political capital 38 AMERICAN ASCENDANCE AND BRITISH RETREAT in the Middle East. Officials in the Truman administration, the Department of State, and the Pentagon thought primarily in terms of Iran’s value to their policy of containing Soviet power.
American Ascendance and British Retreat in the Persian Gulf Region by W. Taylor Fain (auth.)