Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy
Rory Cormac

Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy

Covert action has long been a central instrument in British foreign policy. In an era of global decline, it has been used by successive Prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries to fill the gap between British obligations and strength. Despite this, British covert action remains a deeply misunderstood topic. Most Unusual Measures examines British approaches to covert action since 1945. It explores how and why secret government strategy has evolved from the aftermath of the Second World War, through the Cold War and decolonisation, and into the twenty-first century. Focusing on the changing targets, competing interests, departmental rivalries, and the personalities of those involved, Most Unusual Measures assesses the British ‘way’ in covert action. 

Book Details:

  • Author: Rory Cormac
  • Published Year: 2018
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: OUP

Rory Cormac

Born in 1985, Rory Cormac grew up on the coast in South Devon. He was educated at the University of Nottingham and King's College London. Rory has now returned to Nottingham as a lecturer in international relations. His research focuses on intelligence and covert operations. Rory has previously worked at King's College London and the University of Warwick. He is the author of 'Confronting the Colonies: British Intelligence and Counterinsurgency' (Hurst 2013). Rory has also published numerous academic articles on intelligence, irregular threats, and covert action in journals from Intelligenc...
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Book Reviews

  • "A welcome and most timely book … Cormac goes a long way towards filling a significant gap in the murky history of SIS and Britain’s special forces … His book provides plenty of evidence to show why it is time [that policy makers’ and spy chiefs’] absence of accountability and freedom to break the law with impunity must end."
    Literary Review
  • "Disrupt and Deny is a bold study of the postwar history of British covert action [and] Cormac attacks the subject with impressive energy and industry. The result is an engrossing journey through the history of a stubbornly opaque area of the secret world."
    BBC History Magazine
  • "a very important component of the covert action conversation…the first history of British covert action. It is a seminal contribution."
    The Intelligencer