Britain’s Geopolitical Consideration in the Middle East during the Six-day Arab Israel War of 1967: A Reassessment

Document Type : Original Article


School of Humanities, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia


This study is reassessing the geopolitical consideration of the British government in the Sixth Days of the Arab-Israeli War,1967. Based on declassified documents from the British’s archive, this paper will analyze the geopolitical factor which shaped London’s reaction towards the conflict. Middle East geopolitical position was very strategic to the British interests in the region. Hence, the focus of this paper is to re-examine the consequence of the war toward Britain’s attitude in preserving her strategic military position and economic calculation in the Middle East between 1960s to early 1970s. These including the paramountcy of the British military bases in the region, arm trade commercial activities and a disruption of the oil flow from the region to the West. From historical perspective and analysis, this paper argued that the threats from the Soviet and Arab nationalist movements during the conflict had significantly influenced the British government’s reaction towards the war. Although London did not involve directly in the conflict like in the 1956’s Suez Crisis, yet British’s response was still crucial since Britain was the prime architect in drafting and tabling the United Nation Resolution 242 after the war. Indeed, this research inclines to believe that the British equilibrium attitude as proclaimed during the conflict was not purely based on a principle of a just and lasting peace but it was very much relying upon geopolitical consideration of safeguarding British major strategic interests in the region.


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