The Dhofar War

I know it is obvious that I am a student of history so much so that I tend to hit people over the head with history as often as possible.

I am always going on about the US and its wars… I decided to check into some of our allies and their little wars.  I have many English visitors so I decided to try and embarrass them if possible (that is a joke please do not take offense)…….

The English have a long history on the Arabian Peninsula….this is one of their wars against god-less commies during the Cold War….

Between 1963 and 1975 the Sultanate of Oman was the scene of one of the most remarkable, and forgotten conflicts of the Cold War. The British-led Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) would battle and defeat a formidable Marxist guerrilla movement based in the southern province of Dhofar. The Dhofar War remains one of the few examples of a successful Western-led counterinsurgency in a postwar Middle Eastern country.

An interesting aspect of this conflict is the polyglot nature of the forces involved, with British, Pakistani, Arab, Iranian, and Dhofari irregulars ultimately involved in fighting the rebels (known in Arabic as the adoo), themselves a transnational outfit. A survey of the war raises interesting questions about the myth of fighting ‘localized’ conflicts, insofar as the Dhofar War is often portrayed as an isolated contest between British and Omani troops and the Dhofari guerillas. . It also draws interesting parallels with other ongoing multi-faceted counterinsurgencies as seen in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. As exhausted Western publics become increasingly hesitant to commit large-scale forces to conflicts in the Third World, their governments may depend on regional allies to provide the necessary manpower instead.  The war in the ‘Frankincense Mountains’ provides lessons in the benefits and complications of such strategies.

You see the US was not the only participant in those proxy wars of the Cold War era….

4 thoughts on “The Dhofar War

  1. Some of the members of my extended family served in Oman during that time. They related it as ‘supporting’ the Oman army’, and played it down a lot. I think they had been told to not say too much about it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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