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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 252–270 | Cite as

‘America in Britain’s place?’: Anglo-American relations and the Middle East in the aftermath of the Suez crisis

  • Simon C. SmithEmail author
Article

Abstract

Much historical scholarship has depicted Suez as a watershed not merely in British imperial history, but also in Anglo-American relations, marking a decisive shift away from empire and the assumption of British burdens in the Middle East by the USA. The present article, however, argues that this line of argument is too determinist, and indeed simplistic. On the one hand, British policy-makers remained determined to retain as many of their imperial interests in the Middle East as possible and robustly defended these from any signs of US encroachment. On the other hand, the USA demonstrated little interest in replacing the British in the region and indeed sought to preserve as much of the British presence as possible, especially in context of America’s ever-deepening commitment to the conflict in Vietnam. The unilateral British decision to withdraw from ‘East of Suez’ by the end of 1971 dismayed US policy-makers who, rather than seeking to replace the departing British, sought to persuade them to maintain as much of their influence and as many of their interests as possible, especially in the Gulf, beyond 1971.

Keywords

Anglo-American relations Suez crisis Middle East 

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of HullHullUK

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