The overwhelming consensus that Anthony Eden’s Suez policy was little short of disastrous has never seriously been challenged. But why did Eden – a renowned foreign policy expert with three terms as Foreign Secretary to draw upon – blunder so badly?
This talk explains Eden’s mindset and exactly what he did and, as importantly, did not know prior to the launching of military action against Nasser’s Egypt in November 1956. It considers the extent of collaboration with France and Israel and Eden’s failure to admit this to Parliament. Moreover, the role of the Americans, particularly that of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, is analysed in detail.
In truth, Dulles never supported the use of military force from the start, instead preferring a purely diplomatic response to Nasser’s nationalisation of the Suez Canal. In the endgame Dulles' arm twisted Eden to withdraw British forces but did this turn out to be a pyrrhic victory for the Americans?
This lecture is part of the 'Controversies in UK Foreign Policy: Diplomacy or Military Force?' lecture series, taking place on Fridays from 20 October to 24 November 2023. You may either register for individual lectures or you may choose to register for the entire lecture series at a reduced price.
Please note: this lecture will close to enrolments at 23:59 UTC on 31 October 2023.