In this lecture based on his recent published book, The Clandestine Lives of Colonel David Smiley, Professor Clive Jones focuses primarily on Col David Smiley’s role as Commander of the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces between 1958-61. Here he was instrumental in defeating a Saudi backed insurgency in the strategically important Sultanate of Oman that secured, longer term, Britain’s oil and commercial interests. Equally, however, it also examines why his political masters in London refused to recognise his leadership in this most secret of campaigns. Having left the army in 1961, Smiley’s expertise in guerrilla warfare was soon recognised by his erstwhile foes, the Saudis, who valued such skills as they looked to undermine an Egyptian backed Republican regime in neighbouring Yemen. In a highly secret operation, during which Smiley was also working part-time for MI6, he helped organise a series of covert Israeli air drops alongside the Mossad to Royalist tribesman fighting the Egyptians.
A recording of the lecture is now available on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/9gLnHcg8_oE .