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The Secret War: Intelligence and Covert Operations in the Dhofar Rebellion

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The Secret War: Intelligence and Covert Operations in the Dhofar Rebellion

Tom Ordeman, Jr.

Introduction

One of history's most recent and successful counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns proved so successful that few, even in the military community, are aware that it ever took place. Between 1962 and 1976, Anglo-Omani forces fought what began as a localized insurgency, later to be co-opted and escalated by communist guerrillas. Despite a restive populace and an ineffective initial strategy, the Anglo-Omani force prevailed, transforming Oman in the process. The conflict's obscurity, a function of the discretion with which it was waged, has led many of its veterans to dub it "the Secret War". While conventional combat played a significant role in the successful outcome, the Anglo-Omani COIN strategy succeeded due in large part to an overarching focus on precise intelligence efforts, covert operations orchestrated by special operations forces (SOF), and an effective counterintelligence campaign.

Conflict Overview

In 1962, following years of draconian governance and extreme fiscal restraint under Sultan Said bin Taimur, his tribal rivals founded the Dhofar Liberation Front (DLF). Sultan Said had been pressured out of open warfare with his Saudi neighbors over the Buraimi Oasis between 1952 and 1954, and had overcome a localized insurgency in the Jebel Akhdar ("Green Mountain") between 1957 and 1959; in both cases, the British advised the Sultan and provided military support. While Sultan Said ultimately prevailed in both conflicts, these and local political grievances eroded the uneasy truce between the Sultan's government and his rivals that had followed the 1920 Treaty of Seeb. The DLF, many of whom were former members of the Sultan's of Oman's Armed Forces (SAF) or the Trucial Oman Scouts (the military force of what is now the United Arab Emirates), commenced a campaign of sabotage and ambushes.

Following a 1966 assassination attempt by indigenous security forces, Sultan Said retired permanently to his palace in Salalah, the Dhofari capital. Several years later, the DLF was subsumed by Marxist rebels supported by the communist regime in the neighboring People's Democratic Republic of (South) Yemen (PDRY), who escalated the war under the moniker of the "Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arabian Gulf" (PFLOAG). The PFLOAG renamed itself the "Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman" (PFLO) in 1974 to reflect a downgrade of their ambitions; in both incarnations, they were known colloquially as the "adoo", Arabic for "enemy". By mid-1970 the situation seemed grave.

In July of 1970, Sultan Said abdicated following a bloodless palace coup orchestrated by the crown prince, Qaboos bin Said, and key members of the Sultan's British staff. Sultan Qaboos was a Sandhurst graduate and British Army veteran who had studied civil administration in the United Kingdom, and he carried local legitimacy by way of his mother’s Dhofari origin. He and his British allies immediately bolstered the anemic COIN campaign, and simultaneously directed Oman's energy revenues to finance civil development in Dhofar and throughout the Sultanate.

At the time, the SAF was led by a mix of British and Commonwealth personnel, who were either seconded by the Ministry of Defence or contracted directly by the Sultanate. Beginning in 1970, the SAF’s indigenous force commenced ambitious recruitment and professionalization efforts, and additional Anglophone personnel were recruited to lead them. The Royal Air Force (RAF), which already maintained positions at Salalah and Masirah, expanded its presence at both positions. The SAF ranks consisted mainly of Arab personnel from northern Oman, and Baluchi mercenaries recruited from the previously Sultanate-owned port city of Gwadar. These personnel formed the core of the COIN force. Much of the overall campaign was conventional: patrols, kinetic raids on adoo positions in the jebel ("mountains"), and the administration of multiple "cordons sanitaires" of wire and land mines to break adoo lines of communication.

"There were four Omani infantry regiments, and they rotated through the war zone, Dhofar, two at a time, every nine or ten months. When they were not in Dhofar, they were based in the northern part of Oman, which was at comparative peace."[1]

In addition, the Special Air Service (SAS) - some members of which had seen action in the Jebel Akhdar War more than a decade prior - deployed in its own right, semi-independent of the SAF, and operated under the euphemism of the "British Army Training Team" (BATT).

Foreign Involvement

While combat was localized, numerous regional and global actors provided covert and overt support to either belligerent. The adoo received clandestine training as well as logistical and advisory support from China, Egypt, the Soviet Union, Iraq, Libya, Palestinian organizations[2], and Cuba [3], and trained in Odessa, Peking, and Iraq.[4] In addition to Commonwealth support, the King of Jordan provided intelligence officers[5], an infantry regiment[6], a SOF battalion[7], and gifts of supplies and equipment (including thirty Hawker Siddeley Hunter aircraft that allowed for cross-border strikes[8]), while both Jordanian and Emirati troops performed security functions in northern Oman to free SAF personnel for service in Dhofar.[9] The Shah of Iran provided a sustained combat force of SOF, infantry, artillery, and aircraft.[10] Kuwait and Saudi Arabia initially supported the rebels[11], but were cajoled into supporting the Sultan in large part because of Iranian involvement:

“The presence of Iranian/Persian Shi'a troops and air units in Oman alarmed Riyadh. Now, the Saudis also began to provide equipment and financial, and perhaps most importantly, diplomatic support to the Sultanate. Riyadh worked to induce Aden to stop supporting the rebels. The Iranian presence in Oman alarmed the Saudis as much or more than that of the leftists in South Yemen. From 1972 to 1979, the Saudis tried to convince Sultan Qaboos to remove the Shah's troops. The last Iranian soldiers did not leave Oman until after the 1979 revolution.”[12]

The Shah of Iran provided additional diplomatic support in 1972, when he persuaded the Chinese government to curtail their aid to the PFLOAG.[13]

Special Operations Forces (SOF)

Many accounts of the Dhofar Rebellion focus upon the July 1972 Battle of Mirbat, during which nine SAS troops successfully defended their position against an estimated two hundred adoo. This engagement was a major propaganda loss for the adoo, but the most enduring SAS contribution was their multi-year unconventional warfare campaign. Their objective was to weaken the insurgency by compelling rebels to defect, disclose critical intelligence, augment the SAF as local militias, and collect intelligence from the populace. The SAS operated under a five-point plan, dubbed "Operation Storm”, which called for: 1) a dedicated intelligence cell, 2) an information operations team, 3) a medical officer supported by SAS medics, 4) a veterinary medicine program, and 5) the recruitment of Dhofaris to fight for the Sultan.[14]

The SAS fielded an intelligence cell led by Warrant Officer Birrell and staffed by several junior NCO's.[15] SAS Corporal John Lane orchestrated a concurrent propaganda campaign, to include dropping leaflets, producing posters, and broadcasting radio programs. One iconic poster depicted a hand, decorated with the SAF emblem, smashing a communist star. Its caption read: "The Hand of God Destroys Communism". Cheap transistor radios were imported, initially given away, and later sold in the local souq. Adoo attempts to destroy or confiscate radios that Dhofaris purchased with their own money further alienated the rebels from the populace.[16] Radio Dhofar deliberately broadcast a upbeat message highlighting the provision of new services to contrast with negative messages broadcast by the communists on Radio Aden. Consistent with the criticality of veterinary support, one radio program focused upon proper care for livestock.[17]

While the SAS conducted direct action operations, the bulk of their efforts focused on civil affairs and the recruitment and leadership of firqat militias. The firqat were recruited from Dhofari tribes, particularly the ranks of adoo defectors. While initially envisioned as disciplined soldiers[18], early attempts to employ them in large numbers[19] taught SAF leaders that were best utilized in small groups, carrying out special reconnaissance and acting as scouts and guides to SAF formations during major operations.[20] The firqat sometimes proved difficult for the BATT to lead. For example, the Dhofaris often demanded overwhelming fire support, negating the stealth normally associated with guerrilla operations. The Dhofaris were also reflexively democratic, which conflicted with military discipline.[21]

Aside from unconventional warfare, SAS/firqat teams engaged in two noteworthy operations. After hundreds of adoo livestock were captured during Operation Jaguar in October 1971, the firqat refused to fight until the spoils could be sold at the market in Salalah. This precipitated Operation Taurus, a "Texan-style cattle drive", the following month.[22] In 1972, an SAS officer recruited by the Sultan to work as a freelance, contracted firqat leader decided to demolish an army fort eighty miles into the PDRY. The operation was designed to divert Yemeni and adoo forces into a defensive posture. Using two Bedford trucks and five hundred pounds of gelignite explosives, the firqat officer and eighty men took the fort without resistance. The subsequent explosion destroyed the fort and several additional buildings, and impressed the Sultan, but horrified the British commanders due to the delicacy of cross-border incursions.[23]

Imagery Intelligence (IMINT)

Because the adoo blended into the populace and hid in mountain caves, IMINT was of limited utility. Even so, the RAF detachment in Oman employed English Electric Canberra PR Mk.9 bombers to capture IMINT in the PDRY.

"At Bait al Falaj, Curly Hirst recommended to John Graham that the Sultanate request... the return of the RAF's Canberra spy planes, last used to take photographs of South Yemeni facilities the previous September. Throughout June and July [1972], one or two English Electric Canberra PR9s of 13 Squadron - a dedicated photo-reconnaissance unit based at Malta - became an almost permanent presence on the pan at RAF Masirah. The Canberras were no strangers to the island base. Since 1970, Operation MASLIN had seen them monitoring the border between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, in dispute over oil rights, a few more jets taking pictures in what was one of the most spied-on regions on the planet."[24]

This represented both operational and strategic intelligence roles for the Canberra PR Mk.9 in Dhofar and the Gulf region, respectively.

Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)

While sources on Dhofar Rebellion SIGINT are limited, at least some signals were intercepted. Medal citations for three SAS personnel following the Battle of Mirbat note:

"A subsequent radio intercept indicates that [the enemy] suffered at least 86 casualties and subsequent intelligent reports indicate that this figure may be as high as 100 or more."[25]

SIGINT at the tactical level presumably expanded at least marginally as the war continued. Initially, the adoo enjoyed freedom of movement throughout Western Dhofar, but few adoo possessed radios. While the adoo leadership worked to field a radio set with every unit after 1971[26], a long series of successful SAF territorial consolidations likely put modest SAF SIGINT assets into range of more of these transmissions. However, as noted below, non-tactical SIGINT collection was rare.

Counterintelligence

Because the SAF and adoo competed with one another for support from the populace, counterintelligence required constant effort for both forces. At the strategic level, operational security (OPSEC) conditions were ideal for the SAF:

"The campaign took place under conditions of secrecy which today would probably be impossible to achieve... Press, radio, and television commentators were just not allowed into the country. The campaign was conducted in a security blackout. For both the SAS and the British Government it was an ideal state of affairs."[27]

In one story related by a Dhofar veteran, a Russian journalist managed to make it all the way to the airfield at Salalah and snapped a few photos before he was detained and his film and equipment confiscated. He was subsequently escorted back onto an aircraft and promptly deported.

However, information discipline at the tactical and operational levels proved more challenging. Specifically, the firqat were known to leak information, and some accounts suggest adoo infiltration of the SAF intelligence establishment.[28] During the 1959 assault on the Jebel Akhdar in Northern Oman, the SAS had turned this tendency to their advantage by feeding false information to a troop of donkey handlers.[29] Following this example, the SAF made effective use of deception operations on several occasions, notably before Operations Jaguar[30] and Badree.[31]

As a rule, adoo tradecraft at the operational and strategic levels dictated the use of couriers in lieu of radio transmissions in order to minimize exposure to the SAF's intelligence apparatus. While this method protected information from leakage, when combined with the centralized leadership model inherent in Marxist/Maoist military-political procedures, it afforded the SAF an advantage by significantly slowing the adoo decision cycle.[32]

Human Intelligence (HUMINT)

Ultimately, both the population-centric COIN campaign and conventional operations relied upon intelligence collected from defecting adoo, serving firqat, and the local populace. Standard procedure was for the firqat to choose a base on favorable ground, which was then captured in a large military operation and given over to military engineers to prepare it for development (most notably, by drilling a well). The firqat and a smaller SAF garrison then defended the base so that prefabricated buildings consisting of a mosque, clinic, government school, and government-subsidized shop could be flown in and reconstructed on site.[33] When Dhofaris came to utilize water and government services, the firqat collected HUMINT and engaged in information operations.[34] In addition, the bulk of Anglophone personnel underwent ten weeks of instruction in "Jaish" ("Army") Arabic prior to deployment.[35] Through the inducements of the firqat and the ability of much of the SAF to communicate with the local populace, a decisive volume of human intelligence - what intelligence historian Michael Herman refers to as "message-like intelligence"[36] - was collected and exploited.

"This aspect of the COIN offensive naturally gathered momentum as the war progressed and the psychological counter-offensive - combined with the escalating alienation of Dhofaris by the PFLO leadership - yielding constantly increasing numbers of defectors; who, in turn, expanded the knowledge of the intelligence personnel with regard to adoo organization, etc."[37]

In 1971, the SAF captured notes from a meeting of senior adoo officers. It revealed a variety of internal grievances and disputes within the PFLOAG, as well as the degree to which PFLOAG excesses and the Sultanate's development campaign had eroded popular support for the insurgency.

"Finally, the paper included a particularly revealing statement pointing to the success of the Government's information services. It stated that freedom of religion was a necessity. This represented a major change in Front policy, and derived from the success of the information services of the Sultan's Government in driving a wedge between Islam and Communism."[38]

The success of the SAF/BATT HUMINT campaign facilitated aggressive operations in 1974 and 1975 that led to the effective eradication of the adoo by late 1975. However, this overwhelming success was undermined late in the conflict after the BATT left the jebel and the SAF consolidated their authority, at which point HUMINT collection effectively ended. This contributes two additional lessons. First, the end of HUMINT collection followed the firqat’s marginalization by a skeptical commander, underscoring the necessity of continued engagement with local actors. Second, it likens sustained HUMINT collection to a pump that requires continuous priming.[39]

Conclusion

On December 4th, 1975, Dhofar Brigade Commander John Akehurst relayed a message to Sultan Qaboos reading: "I have the honour to inform Your Majesty that Dhofar is now secure for civil development."[40] Sultan Qaboos declared the war over on December 11th; the PDRY and PFLO ceased shelling on March 5th and April 30th, 1976, respectively.[41] The war’s final casualty was Donald Nairn, a Kiwi officer in the Frontier Force who was killed during a skirmish with the adoo on May 9th, 1979.[42] Modern Oman enjoys peace and prosperity in a region where both are in seemingly short supply. Sultan Qaboos remains beloved by his countrymen and is respected by the international community as both a benevolent ruler and accomplished diplomat.

When evaluating the Dhofar Rebellion, one should consider the following intelligence lessons:

  • While complex in its own right, international involvement in the conflict serves as a simplified lesson in the intricacies of confidential international diplomacy, as well as the covert measures governments will resort to in order to advance their strategic interests.
  • Operation Storm’s campaign plan suggests that while direct actions (e.g., Mirbat or the cross-border raid) capture popular attention, the traditional SOF role of training and directing indigenous recruits yields more enduring results.
  • While SAF and adoo counterintelligence efforts were highly effective, the adoo focused on protecting the wrong sorts of information (e.g., signals and documents) at the cost of virtually no control of HUMINT. Conversely, the SAF overcame tactical level OPSEC vulnerabilities through deception in both carefully leaked HUMINT and diversionary attacks.
  • While technical collection (IMINT and SIGINT) contributed to the overall picture, the conflict's history ultimately suggests that counterinsurgents should prioritize HUMINT. The Sultan's forces achieved success by treating All Source Intelligence in a manner similar to the military concept of combined arms: as combined arms ultimately support the infantry, all source intelligence in COIN operations should ultimately support HUMINT.

Bibliography

[1] Gardiner, Ian; In the Service of the Sultan: A First Hand Account of the Dhofar Insurgency; Pen & Sword Military; Barnsley, South Yorkshire; 2007; Amazon Kindle Location 636

[2] Barrett, Roby C.; Oman: The Present in the Context of a Fractured Past; Joint Special Operations University; MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; August 2011; pp. 59; https://jsou.socom.mil/JSOU%20Publications/11-5_Oman_final.pdf

[3] N/A; Memorandum - Meeting Between SQBS and President Ford; Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum; Ann Arbor, MI; 09JAN1975; pp. 6; http://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/document/0314/1552910.pdf;

[4] Noyes, James H.; The Clouded Lens: Persian Gulf Security and U.S. Policy (Second Edition); Hoover Press; Stanford, CA; 1982; pp. 21; https://books.google.com/books?id=ZrmcdWB5V4MC&pg=PR2&lpg=PR2&dq=%22The+Clouded+Lens:+Persian+Gulf+Security+and+U.S.+Policy+(Second+Edition)%22&source=bl&ots=4F76IUeBA-&sig=U_B-j5Lstknhk01m2mroqI4Aw-8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwih2rST3NDMAhVpKMAKHacoAxcQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=%22The%20Clouded%20Lens%3A%20Persian%20Gulf%20Security%20and%20U.S.%20Policy%20(Second%20Edition)%22&f=false

[5] McKeown, John; Britain and Oman: The Dhofar War and its Significance; University of Cambridge; Cambridge; 1981; pp. 70; http://www.55fst-ramc.org.uk/DATA/ADOBE%20FILES/Dhofar%20War%20John%20McKeown%20Full.pdf

[6] Zimmerman, Frank H.; Why insurgents fail examining post-World War II failed insurgencies utilizing the prerequisites of successful insurgencies as a framework; Naval Postgraduate School; Monterey, CA; March 2007; pp. 111-112; http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/3570/07Mar_Zimmerman.pdf

[7] Akehurst, John; We Won a War: The Campaign in Oman 1965-1975; M. Russell; Salisbury, Wiltshire; 1982; pp. 120

[8] Akehurst, John; We Won a War: The Campaign in Oman 1965-1975; M. Russell; Salisbury, Wiltshire; 1982; pp. 159-161

[9] Metz, Helem Chapin; Persian Gulf States: A Country Study; Library of Congress; Washington, D.C.; 1993; http://countrystudies.us/persian-gulf-states/62.htm

[10] Homiak, Major Travis L., USMC; Working 'Through, With, and By' Non-US Actors to Achieve Operational-Level Security Objectives; United States Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting; Quantico, VA; 26APR2007; pp. 7; http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a506185.pdf

[11] Peterson, J. E.; Guerrilla Warfare and Ideological Confrontation in the Arabian Peninsula: The Rebellion in Dhufar; World Affairs, Volume 139, Number 4; Washington, DC; Spring 1977; pp. 277-295

[12] Barrett, Roby C.; Oman: The Present in the Context of a Fractured Past; Joint Special Operations University; MacDill Air Force Base, Florida; August 2011; pp. 59-60; https://jsou.socom.mil/JSOU%20Publications/11-5_Oman_final.pdf

[13] Zimmerman, Frank H.; Why insurgents fail examining post-World War II failed insurgencies utilizing the prerequisites of successful insurgencies as a framework; Naval Postgraduate School; Monterey, CA; March 2007; pp. 111-112; http://calhoun.nps.edu/bitstream/handle/10945/3570/07Mar_Zimmerman.pdf

[14] Jeapes, Tony; SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East; Greenhill Books; London; 2005; pp. 32-33

[15] Monick, S.; Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 14; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[16] Jeapes, Tony; SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East; Greenhill Books; London; 2005; pp. 37

[17] Higgins, Andrew; With the SAS and Other Animals: A Vet's Experiences During the Dhofar War 1974; Pen & Sword Military; Barnsley, South Yorkshire; 2011; Amazon Kindle Location 1719

[18] Akehurst, John; We Won a War: The Campaign in Oman 1965-1975; M. Russell; Salisbury, Wiltshire; 1982; pp. 81

[19] Jeapes, Tony; SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East; Greenhill Books; London; 2005; pp. 135-144

[20] Akehurst, John; We Won a War: The Campaign in Oman 1965-1975; M. Russell; Salisbury, Wiltshire; 1982; pp. 82

[21] Monick, S.; Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 11; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[22] Jeapes, Tony; SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East; Greenhill Books; London; 2005; pp. 143

[23] Monick, S.; Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 13; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[24] White, Rowland; Storm Front: The Epic True Story of a Secret War, the SAS's Greatest Battle, and the British Pilots Who Saved Them; Corgi; London; 2011; pp. 299

[25] N/A; Recommendations for Citation for Captain Mike Kealy, Corporal Bob Bennett, and Trooper Sekonaia Takavesi following the Battle of Mirbat; 22 Special Air Service Regiment; Hereford, UK; 1972; http://www.55fst-ramc.org.uk/FRONT%20PAGES%20FST/FP_DOCUMENTS/DOCUMENTS_DATA/Mirbat%20Battle/Mirbat%20Webpages/MB-kealy-recommendation.htm

[26] Monick, S.; Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 18; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[27] Jeapes, Tony; SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East; Greenhill Books; London; 2005; pp. 11

[28] Cole, Roger and Belfield, Richard; SAS Operation Storm: Nine Men Against Four Hundred in Britain's Secret War; Hodder & Stoughton; London; 2011

[29] Monick, S.; “ Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 1” ; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 3; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 16-17; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/608

[30] Jeapes, Tony; SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East; Greenhill Books; London; 2005; pp. 136

[31] Monick, S.; “ Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 1” ; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 3; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; ; pp. 21; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/608

[32] Akehurst, John; We Won a War: The Campaign in Oman 1965-1975; M. Russell; Salisbury, Wiltshire; 1982; pp. 96

[33] Monick, S.; “ Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976” ; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 20; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[34] Monick, S.; “ Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976” ; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 12; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[35] Monick, S.; “ Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976” ; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 8; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[36] Herman, Michael; Intelligence Power in Peace and War; Cambridge University Press; Cambridge; 1996; pp. 83

[37] Monick, S.; Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 14; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[38] Monick, S.; Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 18-19; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[39] Monick, S.; Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 13; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[40] Higgins, Andrew; With the SAS and Other Animals: A Vet's Experiences During the Dhofar War 1974; Pen & Sword Military; Barnsley, South Yorkshire; 2011; Amazon Kindle Location 4227

[41] Monick, S.; “ Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976” ; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982; pp. 24; http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600

[42] Gardiner, Ian; In the Service of the Sultan: A First Hand Account of the Dhofar Insurgency; Pen & Sword Military; Barnsley, South Yorkshire; 2007; Amazon Kindle Location 3570-3581

About the Author(s)

Tom Ordeman, Jr. is an Oregon-based information security professional, freelance military historian, and former federal contractor. A graduate with Distinction from the University of Aberdeen’s MSc program in Strategic Studies, he holds multiple DoD and industry security certifications. Between 2006 and 2017, he supported training and enterprise risk management requirements for multiple DoD and federal civilian agencies. His research interests include the modern history of the Sultanate of Oman, and the exploits of the Gordon Highlanders during the First World War. His opinions are his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of any entity with which he is associated.

Comments

davidbfpo

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 6:33am

Good to see a new Journal article on this campaign and I am pleased to see the many references to sources cited in the Forum's thread.

I noted that the author cites several times a hitherto unknown article from 1982, which understandably has very few references cited, but on a quick read has points of interest:

Monick, S.; Victory in Hades: The Forgotten Wars of Oman 1957-1959 and 1970-1976, Part 2A: The Dhofar Campaign 1970-1976; Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol. 12, Nr 4; Saldanha, South Africa; 1982
Link: http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/600/605

The author concluded: Quote: Precisely because of its dual COIN-conventional aspect, the lessons derived from the Dhofar war are peculiar to each individual dimension of warfare, as well as being common to both. They are thus both extensive and complex and, to do them justice, detailed discussion is reserved for a succeeding, final paper (Section B).Quote ends.

This article's author does not refer to Monick's 'Section B, which was published in 1983 and it appears the author had written on Rhodesian COIN. He was more concerned with any potential application to South Africa, then in the midst of several campaigns, internally and in SW Africa / Angola.

In his conclusion is one good passage: Quote: This clearly exemplifies a fundamental characteristic of all insurgencies; success is far more dependent upon the reaction of their adversaries (i.e. the established government and security forces) than upon any inner impetus within the revolutionary movement itself. Quote ends.

Link: http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/591/596

I know that former Rhodesian Air Force pilots were in Omani service, presumably post-1980 and there was a political connection between Oman and Rhodesia - fighting a then common enemy, Communism.

So I must one day read the second article to see how South Africa sought to learn lessons from the Dhofar campaign.

Thanks Tom!