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Today part of the Republic of Yemen, Aden was for 128 years a vital British strategic base and commercial staging post. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, Britain was still the predominant foreign power in the Middle East. But in 1967, overwhelmed by crises, the Labour government abandoned Aden. This precipitate withdrawal left the newly formed Federation of South Arabia to the mercies of rival national socialist revolutionaries who, after a period of bloody civil war, established the Arab world’s only Marxist-Leninist tyranny, and left a 27-year legacy of impoverishment and repression.