By Helene von Bismarck
An in-depth research of significant Britain's coverage within the oil-rich Persian Gulf area over the past years of British imperialism within the sector, protecting the interval from the independence of Kuwait to the choice of the Wilson govt to withdraw from the Gulf.
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Extra resources for British Policy in the Persian Gulf, 1961–1968: Conceptions of Informal Empire
In this perspective, the role of Kuwait oil, including the terms on which it is made available to the United Kingdom and the arrangements for the use and investment of Kuwait’s sterling balances, overshadow all the rest in their importance. 10 Furthermore, its close and friendly relations with Kuwait strengthened Britain’s bargaining position vis-à-vis other oil-producing countries. Should Kuwait be annexed by, or fall under the domination of, another state, a radical change could be expected in its oil and ﬁnancial policy, which would result in considerable damage to the British economy.
82 Another military duty of the political resident was the Trucial Oman Scouts, which had their headquarters in Sharjah. Founded as the Trucial 18 British Policy in the Persian Gulf, 1961–1968 Oman Levies in 1951 and renamed in 1955, this was a security force under direct British control designed to preserve law and order in the seven Trucial States and to protect their borders. It was established following two years of discussions between the Foreign Ofﬁce and the Ministry of Defence as to how the security situation in the Trucial States could be improved.
In the decades that followed, oil became the single most important source of income in the Persian Gulf for Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi. 74 His title derived from the institution of which he was in charge: the political residency in the Persian Gulf, based in Ras al-Jufair on the island of Bahrain. 75 Until the end of the Second World War, the number of British political personnel dispatched to the Persian Gulf Residency was very restricted. 76 The situation changed after 1947 when the Foreign Ofﬁce took charge of Britain’s relations with the Persian Gulf States.