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Empires of IntelligenceSecurity Services and Colonial Disorder after 1914$
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Martin Thomas

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251175

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251175.001.0001

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Intelligence and Revolt i

Intelligence and Revolt i

British Security Services and Communal Unrest in Egypt, Iraq, and Sudan

(p.107) 4 Intelligence and Revolt i
Empires of Intelligence

Thomas Martin

University of California Press

The idea of the intelligence state presupposes that the intelligence gathered by colonial security agencies was critical to the maintenance of order. It follows that disorder in such states was indicative of intelligence failure, or, at least, of the inability of security agencies to preempt violent unrest through the exploitation of information about potential rebellion. This chapter tests this proposition, focusing on some of the better-known revolts against imperial rule of Britain across the Middle East in the years immediately after World War I. It suggests that lapses, gaps, and distortions in the effective collection and analysis of information led consistently to a loss of political control. Sometimes this was temporary, sometimes longer-lasting, but it was always directly related to what was or was not done with the security information collected by the colonial authorities.

Keywords:   intelligence, state, security agencies, rebellion, Britain, Middle East

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