chapter  5
26 Pages

Influence in British Colonial Africa

ByKate Law, Ashley Jackson

In the lexicon of European de-colonisation, counter-insurgency campaigns were fought against anti-imperialism across the periphery of empire from Vietnam to Algeria and from Kenya to Malaya. British propagandists hoped to persuade the inhabitants of South Arabia that Cairos influence was a threat to the freedom of people across the Middle East and to disseminate the message that Egyptian anti-imperialism was counterfeit. During the late 1940's and early 1950's the British government had played a pioneering role in elucidating the organising principles of Cold War propaganda through the medium of a co-ordinated information policy. The eagerness of British administrators in Aden and military planners in Whitehall to direct information policy for the purposes of counter-insurgency led them into direct conflict with the developmentalist view of the Colonial Office. The thin mortar of information policy was ineffective in patching over the attritional effects of the conflict with Nasser at a time when the imperialist edifice was crumbling with alarming speed.