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The Many British Invasions

• November 05, 2012 • 12:31 PM

America’s reputation is rather poor in many parts of the world, arguably due to our propensity to protect our interests through the use of military might. But while Pakistanis may be shaking their fists at our drones, it appears that, when it comes to imposing our will via force, we have nothing on the Brits.

British have invaded nine out of ten countries” reads the headline on a story in the London Daily Telegraph, posted online over the weekend. It reports that a new analysis of “the histories of the almost 200 countries in the world found only 22 which have never experienced an invasion by the British.”

Author Stuart Laycock tallied up all the nations where, at one point or another, the British “achieved some sort of military presence … either through force, the threat of force, negotiation or payment.”

Incursions by British pirates, privateers or armed explorers were included, “provided they were operating with the approval of their government,” the Telegraph report notes. (Hmm. Wonder if James Bond’s exploits fall into that category.)

Laycock came up with quite an inclusive list (Mongolia is a maybe). But he also found a few exceptions. Among the 22 nations Britain has never invaded are Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Mali.

Wait—haven’t al-Qaeda-linked militants taken over much of northern Mali? Attention, Prime Minister Cameron: Here’s an excellent opportunity to check another one off of your list.

Tom Jacobs
Staff writer Tom Jacobs is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years experience at daily newspapers. He has served as a staff writer for The Los Angeles Daily News and the Santa Barbara News-Press. His work has also appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Ventura County Star.

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