It is one heck of a strange twist when a liberated country loses its outdated winged aircrafts of the yesteryears only to have the liberated civilians find themselves getting bombed—unintentionally, lamentably, regrettably, blah blah blah, of course—by those latest state of the art models.
Anyhow, now throw in all this talk about the Americans standing down as the Iraqis begin to stand up, and those simmering tensions and the Kurdish preparations… and this
There is an outstanding book by one Aaron
You should read the book in full if you have not done so already. But here at the BP, we do our best to tantalize you. So Mr. Klieman in the original:
Important decisions affecting British financial and military responsibilities in
Success depended to an even greater extent upon two rather uncertain factors: first, the development of a local Kurdish force and Arab levies of 5000 Mesopotamians, promised by Ja’far Pasha, to relieve British garrisons on the border; and second, the adaptation and development of air power.
The utility of airplanes for reducing expenditures was advocated by Air Marshal Sir H.M. Trenchard. He had submitted memoranda to the Cabinet several times during 1920 propounding greater emphasis on the air force. Finding Churchill increasingly receptive, he chose the Cairo Conference as an opportune occasion for presenting a “Scheme for the Control of Mesopotamia by the Royal Air Force.” Essentially his scheme called for the concerted use of an Arab army, the Royal Air Force, and armored cars, the latter forces operating from not more than three main basis. Auxiliary aerodromes would be maintained, guarded by detachments of the Arab army, at various points throughout the country. Wireless communication, armored cars , and efficient intelligence system, and the positioning of main bases along the railroad would all help to ensure the principal value of the air in maintaining internal order: its ability to answer requests for assistance “with an air of celerity which no other arm is capable of.”
A forth and final meeting of the Political Committee was held on 15 March to discuss the future of
He was immediately challenged by Major Young, who countered with a proposal to set up a Kurdish state without delay, one which would be under the direct control of the high commissioner and not a part of, or responsible to, the Iraqi government. Young was supported by Major Noel, the foremost authority on the Kurds, who thought the Kurds would prefer home rule and might be a useful buffer state against both Turkish pressure from without and Iraqi anti-British movements from within…
The committee finally adopted Major Young’s recommendation to keep Kurdistan separate from
…In summary, the policy which emerged from the Cairo Conference was insufficient for the times. It underestimated the Arabs and the extent of their political awakening. It deprecated their desire for independence and unity and their determination to achieve these even at the price of British support. At a time when
The Cairo Conference, in short, was perhaps too ambitious…Leaders, like ideas, proved vulnerable and obsolete in the transitional
The fact that British policy was conducted along these lines and on the basis of these premises was due in no small measure to Winston Churchill’s influence upon the decision-making processes before, during, and after the
Lord Milner, Churchill’s predecessor at the Colonial Office, wrote of him: “his weakness is that he is too apt to make up his mind without sufficient knowledge.” Because of insufficient knowledge of the Arab world Churchill adopted simplistic approach to the
Then, after the conference, as conditions changed and the Cairo policy needed unceasing supervision, Churchill, regarding the Middle East as pacified and his major objectives as accomplished, became absorbed in other, non-Arab matters.
…the conference’s contribution, and Churchill’s, was to momentarily arrest the process of drift which had hindered