Intelligence and defence are often cited as central to the fabric of Anglo-American relations after 1945. However, we still know relatively little about how the Anglo-American intelligence relationship changed during the latter part of the twentieth century. During the 1960s and 1970s the UK continued its long retreat from its world role, driven by recurrent economic crises at home and anti-colonial nationalism abroad. This essay examines UK intelligence in the mid-1970s in the light of recent archival releases pertaining to the Roy Mason Defence Review. This material sheds interesting light on tensions between the military and diplomats in Whitehall over defence intelligence. More importantly, it appears to show that, partly because of the contraction of defence dispositions, UK intelligence activities were called upon to compensate and therefore became relatively more important as a substantive contribution to the alliance
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