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The Dhofar Conflict (Hardback)

The SAS and Counterinsurgency

Military > By Century Military > Reference World History

By Stephen Quick
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 272
Illustrations: 16 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781036108878
Published: 30th September 2024

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COIN - counterinsurgency - is a major element in international relations - both historical and 'IR theory' - and in military history. It was a vital component in the Cold War and decolonisation. COIN is now widely contrasted with 'Big War' theory in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war and proxy-war with NATO, but is still a global phenomenon.

Dhofar as a mis-ruled province of 'medieval' Oman, saw insurgency initiated by the Dhofar Liberation Front (DLF) and its successors organizations including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman and the Arabian Gulf (PFLOAG). These were supported variously by China, the USSR and other Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt and Iraq, but the insurgency was defeated by a combination Omani, British, Iranian and Jordanian forces. The COIN win in Dhofar prevented the spread of Communism on the Arabian Peninsula, thereby protecting British Middle Eastern influence and the vital Gulf oil supply to both the UK and wider Western economic bloc. The war and associated counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign can be considered a unique or 'sui generis' military 'success', with revolutionary forces overcome in a difficult and often brutal campaign involving British forces including its elite SAS Regiment, along with Jordanian and Iranian military aid.

The study covers much more than the Dhofar campaign and contrasts the Omani example with other British COIN operations in major decolonising territories and 'Emergencies' (1945-1999). These include the campaigns undertaken in Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, Brunei/Borneo, Aden and Northern Ireland; which highlight the many similar aspects of these examples shared with the Dhofar War, but also that its unique status in the British COIN historiography should be acknowledged.

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About Stephen Quick

Dr Stephen Quick is a Lecturer/Assistant Professor at Rabdan Academy in Abu Dhabi, who has been based in the Middle East for over a decade. He obtained his PhD. from King's College London in 'War Studies', and his employment history includes service the UK Armed Forces (Royal Naval Officer), role in managing delivery of the United Arab Emirates's (UAE) 'Al Bayariq' national schools programme (the forerunner of the country's National Service Programme) and at the UAE National Defence College (NDC) as a Support Manager and Faculty Member. His publications include: The Dhofar War; British Covert Campaigning in Arabia. (Exeter University Press, 2024).


Publications: 'The United Kingdom's Military Return to the Gulf and Regional Security (National Defence Security Journal 10, 2023; 'The First and Future 50: Reflections on UEA Development (NDSJ 9 2022); Arabian Peninsula Histories: The 1962-67 Civil War in (North) Yemen: A Historical Perspective (NDSJ 6 2019); Arabian Peninsular Histories: The Dhofar War in Oman (NDSJ 559 2018 'Can Piracy Be Defeated Soley by Effected Policing and Criminal Justice Systems? (Nation Shield Journal 550, 2021; The Dhofar War; British Campaigning in Arabia (Exeter University 2024 - -see below for Competiton.

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