Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: by Matthew Jones

By Matthew Jones

This interesting learn appears to be like on the origins, outbreak and process the Indonesian-Malaysian war of words of 1963-1966, in the context of British and American guidelines in South East Asia throughout the Sixties as a complete. Matthew Jones makes use of new archival assets to throw clean gentle on such matters as British Colonial coverage and the construction of Malaysia, Anglo-American tensions over the war of words itself, and the international relations of that very important, yet usually overlooked, overseas dispute.

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26 June 1961) memorandum SR(050)304, PREM 11/3418. 45 Not only did they distrust the PAP’s brand of pragmatic socialism, but they recognized that the PAP harboured many disparate elements, and that while its current leadership was moderate in character, its trade union wing was riddled with Communist sympathizers. Malayan leaders, and Tunku Abdul Rahman in particular, doubted that Lee would ultimately stand up to the radicals in his own party. 46 There were increasing signs that many in the PAP were unhappy with the leadership’s lack of militancy and their unwillingness to press for full independence.

Such efforts were spurred by the knowledge that since early 1958 the Soviet Union had also begun to negotiate credits with the Indonesians for the supply of military equipment, with a particular emphasis on the Air Force and Navy (the former held by US officials as being the arm most susceptible to Communist influence). Yet in this developing competition for influence, US policy-makers faced one overriding handicap: the unwillingness of the Eisenhower Administration to support the Indonesian position in the ongoing dispute with the Netherlands over the status and disposition of the territory of West Irian, an issue left unresolved by the negotiations surrounding independence in 1949.

Clandestine assistance was, moreover, extended to the Outer Island rebels with the misgiving that if news should leak, the delicate situation in Singapore might be affected, where radical left-wing political activity and trade union militancy was a cause of increasing alarm to the British colonial authorities in the middle and late 1950s. The main base for the deployment of British naval, air and military forces in the region, Singapore had been made a full crown colony in April 1946. Maintenance of the Singapore base was seen as essential to 37 38 39 The Australian position is covered in Glen St J.

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