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Failed Alliances of the Cold War
Britain's Strategy and Ambitions in Asia and the Middle East. International Library of Twentieth Century History
The Cold War was a period of intense geopolitical rivalry, in which diplomacy and international relations in Asia and the Middle East acquired huge global significance. In this study, Panagiotis Dimitrakis explores British policy towards SEATO (South East Asia Treaty Organisation) and CENTO (Central Treaty Organisation). Designed in the 1950s to counter the Soviet Union's attempts to expand its global influence, these alliances with Asian and Middle Eastern powers were the focus of Western efforts to maintain their regional presence. Yet they failed to bring together the differing aims and ambitions of their regional members, and were dissolved in 1977 and 1979 respectively. This study, based on recently declassified documents, examines the Cold War policies of the United States, Iran and Turkey as well as Pakistan's relations with India and the effects of British diplomacy on the war in Vietnam. Charting the repeated failures of Britain and the United States to come to the defence of their allies in Asia and the Middle East, Failed Alliances of the Cold War will be a crucial point of reference for scholars of the Cold War.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'Panagiotis Dimitrakis has written a compelling and important new work of Cold War history. His analysis, which is transnational and comparative in scope, fully illuminates the travails of SEATO and CENTO over their troubled lifetimes. In doing so it underscores the complexities of intra-alliance dynamics and the unstable regional foundations of Britain's and the United States' global Cold War strategies.' - W. Taylor Fain, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of North Carolina; 'Drawing upon careful primary research, Failed Alliances of the Cold War is a cogent and stimulating exploration of the development and fate of two important if ultimately unsuccessful alliances in Asia and the Middle East. The book illuminates often-neglected aspects of British and American foreign policies in the developing world, while the question of intra-alliance dynamics is pertinent to many historical and contemporary situations. Panagiotis Dimitrakis has made a valuable contribution to the literature of the Cold War.' - Jonathan Colman, University of Salford; 'This is an important study of a neglected subject. CENTO and SEATO were like Potemkin villages, presenting the facade of stability to the world, but empty of purpose and power behind the scenes. It is clear that national interests and the bi-lateral links between the USA and the UK, and with their respective alliance partners in the Middle East and South-East Asia were the key determinant of policies, usually of a cautious nature, towards developments in these regions, thus rendering CENTO and SEATO largely meaningless and irrelevant as alliances. This gives us a new, and striking, perspective on the Cold War and the pressing need to re-evaluate the degree of hostility between the West and the Communist bloc.' - Dr Saul Kelly, Reader in International History, King's College, London