A Post-Imperial Cold War Paradox : The Anglo-Nigerian Defence Agreement 1958-1962

Wyss, Marco (2016) A Post-Imperial Cold War Paradox : The Anglo-Nigerian Defence Agreement 1958-1962. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 44 (6). pp. 976-1000. ISSN 0308-6534

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As the recent and current French military interventions in West Africa have illustrated, France succeeded in establishing long-lasting security relationships with its former colonies during the transfer of power. In Britain’s case, by contrast, decolonisation was largely followed by military withdrawal. This was not, however, for lack of trying. The episode of the Anglo-Nigerian Defence Agreement clearly illustrates that Britain, driven by its global cold war military strategy, wanted to secure its long-term interests in sub-Saharan Africa. The agreement was first welcomed by the Nigerian elite, which was not only anglophile and anti-communist, but also wanted British military assistance for the build-up of its armed forces. Yet, in Nigeria, the defence pact was faced with mounting opposition, and decried as a neo-colonial scheme. Whereas this first allowed the Nigerian leaders to extract strategic, material and financial concessions from Britain, it eventually led to the abrogation of the agreement. Paradoxically, Britain’s cold war grand strategy created not only the need for the agreement, but also to abrogate it. In the increasingly global East-West struggle, the agreement was strategically desirable, but politically counterproductive.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History on 03/08/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/03086534.2016.1210255
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? britainnigeriaanglo-nigerian relationswest africacold wardefencetransfer of powerpost-imperialneo-colonialismnon-alignmenthistory ??
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Deposited On:
02 May 2017 14:34
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:48