Will Bahrain base make a difference?
New regional naval hub bolsters presence.
Will Britain’s new base in Bahrain make any difference?
New Bahrain base can be proof of ongoing interest in the events of the Middle East that the decisions of the 1960s had undermined – but did Britain ever actually leave?
By Alexander Clarke
In 1968, in the depths of the Cold War and a financial crisis, Britain announced it was withdrawing from the world.
No longer would the Union Jack be a presence in Far East, the Middle East or the Indian Ocean – it would concentrate on Europe, the Atlantic and the Central Front.
For a nation that had fought, and won, two World Wars, a nation which had then only very recently administered the largest empire the world has ever seen, such a voluntary surrender of influence was unprecedented.
The decision was perhaps a symptom of era, of a time Britain was lost as it searched inside itself trying to figure out what it would become.
To continue reading, please click here.