Britain, Kenya and the Cold War

Imperial Defence, Colonial Security and Decolonisation

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Far from having to 'scram from Africa' following the abandonment of her 'East of Suez' role, and despite the problems of Mau Mau, and the even the Suez debacle on a larger international stage, Britain continued to vigorously pursue imperial African interests. And Kenya was centre-stage. Much scholarship has been devoted to the Emergency (1952-60), fear of a post-Mau Mau civil war, de-colonization and setting up independent Kenya but little on British policy in pursuing her vital interests beyond independence. "Britain, Kenya and the Cold War", shows Britain maintaining her strategic priorities in Kenya - cultivating the moderate Kenyatta government, giving up the unacceptable colonial army base, but retaining military camps, rights of overflying, staging and training, and arming and training the Kenyan military, including internal security. Kenyan de-colonization and British defence interests were intimately linked and vital within the context of the Cold War and East-West regional rivalry.