A more complex and conventional victory : revisiting the Dhofar counterinsurgency, 1963–1975
Title: A more complex and conventional victory : revisiting the Dhofar counterinsurgency, 1963–1975
Author: DEVORE, Marc
Citation: Small wars & insurgencies, 2012, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 144-173
Series/Number: [Global Governance Programme]
ISSN: 0959-2318; 1743-9558
Following the emergence of a communist regime in South Yemen and the multiplication of subversive movements in the United Kingdom's Gulf protectorates, British policymakers genuinely feared the spread of communism throughout southern Arabia. Defeating the People's Front for the Liberation for the Occupied Arabian Gulf (PFLOAG) insurgency in Oman's Dhofar province was considered central to preventing such an outcome. In their pursuit of victory, British officers overthrew the sultan of Oman, escalated the war by conducting attacks in South Yemen, and, ultimately, appealed to Islam as a means of rallying support against communism. However, lessons learned in previous counterinsurgencies (Malaya, Kenya, and Borneo) proved of only limited value in Oman's physical and cultural environment. Unfortunately, none of these measures worked as anticipated. Only Iran's direct military intervention and the dramatic growth of Oman's financial resources after the 1973 oil crisis provided the resources to conduct large-scale offensive operations. Even so, victory was only achieved in 1975 because the rebellion's leaders unwisely attempted to oppose the Anglo–Omani offensives conventionally.
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