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Lukáš Nevrkla:
Vývoj pohledu britské zahraniční politiky na Bagdádský pakt (Organizaci centrální smlouvy, CENTO) v letech 1955–1962
[Transformation of British Foreign Policy Attitudes towards the Baghdad Pact (Central Treaty Organisation, CENTO), 1955–1962]

Nevrkla, L. 2019. „Vývoj pohledu britské zahraniční politiky na Bagdádský pakt (Organizaci centrální smlouvy, CENTO) v letech 1955–1962.“ Acta Fakulty filozofické Západočeské univerzity v Plzni 11 (1): 43–59.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/actaff.2019.11.1.3

The main aim of the text is to analyse the attitudes of British foreign policy towards the Central Treaty Organisation (CENTO) up to 1959, known as the Baghdad Pact. The organisation emerged in 1955 as an alliance between Great Britain, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. The main aim of the pact was to prevent the spread of communism in the Middle East and to improve cooperation for defence and security in the Northern Tier area. Even though the alliance was generally perceived as problematic and dysfunctional, CENTO remained in force until 1979, when it was dissolved after the fall of the pro-Western regime of Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi in Iran. The text seeks to outline the development of British foreign policy attitudes towards the alliance between the initial period of its existence (1955–1958) and the early CENTO period (1959–1962), and thus identify the main political factors which shaped British interest in preserving the alliance after 1958. The text analyses the function of the alliance as it was reflected in key strategic documents of the British defence doctrine, especially in the white papers on defence. In addition, after outlining the general context of the collapse and transformation of the Baghdad Pact into CENTO, it analyses the British perception of the alliance in the context of British-Iranian relations, as after the secession of Iraq from the alliance in 1959 it was Iran that became a pillar of British interest in the alliance. The study argues that CENTO, even though it was a military organisation, fulfilled a primarily political function consisting of the political aspect of deterrence and ensuring the pro-Western orientation of its regional members, especially Iran.

Key words
Baghdad Pact, Central Treaty Organisation, CENTO, Great Britain, British defence policy, Middle East, Cold War, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan