The Search for Security, 1919–1920

  • John Darwin
Part of the Cambridge Commonwealth Series book series


The delay in the taking of essential decisions about Britain’s future role in the Middle East was an almost inevitable consequence of the extreme concentration of power which the structure of inter-allied cooperation and diplomacy had produced, and the vast scale, scope and complexity of the European issues which had first call on the attention of the Allied leaders and their electorates. Neither Curzon nor Montagu, for all their agitation about British power and influence in the East, was able to arouse, at this stage, much interest in Lloyd George, in whose hands (and those of his entourage) lay all those aspects of peace diplomacy which required Allied agreement. Only over Persia, where the British appeared for the moment unchallengeable, was Curzon left to plough his own furrow undelayed and undisturbed. As a result, the exercise of British authority in the Middle East during an interval of some seven months was shaped more by local circumstance than by the dictates of a coordinated strategy, except in Syria where Balfour’s repeated insistence on the temporary and provisional nature of the British presence checked the tendency of Allenby’s military administration towards the creation of a veiled or informal British protectorate.1


Middle East Military Spending General Staff Turkish State Military Occupation 
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© John Darwin 1981

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  • John Darwin

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