Political History

British Military Withdrawal and the Rise of Regional by S. Thompson

By S. Thompson

This ebook examines the hyperlinks among Britain's withdrawal from its east of Suez function and the institution of South-East Asian local protection preparations. The hyperlink among those occasions isn't really direct, yet a courting existed, that's vital to a much wider figuring out of the advance of local defense preparations.

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Additional info for British Military Withdrawal and the Rise of Regional Cooperation in South-East Asia, 1964–73

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3 Confrontation Ends, July 1965–August 1966 Confrontation was an obstacle to British plans to withdraw militarily from Singapore. 1 However, during the first half of 1965, there seemed to be no straightforward solution to the conflict. Even if Sukarno left office, Confrontation would probably continue, because British officials believed that any successor in Jakarta would not want to appear unpatriotic by winding down the conflict. 2 Yet the British wanted to negotiate an end to the regional dispute.

Deliberate military escalation would annoy the UN, be unacceptable to Australia and New Zealand, unite Indonesia, and not help Malaysia and Indonesia live together peacefully. A settlement on Sukarno’s terms would amount to Malaysia losing the provinces of Sabah and Sarawak and the absorption of Brunei into Indonesia. Western influence in South-East Asia would be reduced while Australia and New Zealand would feel increasingly isolated. 21 At the end of the meeting, the Heads of Mission concluded that British influence in South-East Asia relied almost exclusively on military power.

33 There was still reluctance in the British Government to withdraw from South-East Asia. During a meeting on 14 May 1965, for example, Wilson told Rusk he would rather reduce Britain’s deployment to Germany by one half than withdraw completely from the Far East, regardless of Confrontation. After all, a continued presence would not need to be at the current level. Wilson also said that his government might want to discuss with the United States the issue of collective arrangements in the region.

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