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Demythologising Dhofar: British Policy, Military Strategy, and Counterinsurgency in Oman, 1963-1976.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-456
Number of pages34
Issue number2
Accepted/In press5 May 2014
PublishedApr 2015

King's Authors


This article re-examines the civil war (1963–1976) between the Sultanate of Oman and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman (PFLO), particularly the U.K.’s support of the government. Using archival evidence and private papers, it argues that the counter-insurgency (COIN) campaign’s image as “population-centric” is flawed, and that the British and Omani governments relied more on military measures against the PFLO to recapture Dhofar province than on the “hearts and minds” and civil development programmes emphasised in traditional accounts. It counsels against using Dhofar as a possible example of indirect military assistance in contemporary COIN, arguing that the conflict’s specific historical characteristics may not be replicated now or in the immediate future.

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