Britain and the Confrontation with Indonesia, 1960-66
The 'Confrontation' is Britain's forgotten war. Yet as David Easter shows, it was a major commitment involving over 54,000 British servicemen and near-escalation into full-scale war with Indonesia. President Sukarno's 'Confrontation' of Indonesia was an attempt to destroy Britain's plans for Malayasia by guerilla warfare including air and sea landings, and Britain responded with a secret war by supporting rebel groups, propaganda and clandestine cross-border raids. Sukarno was finally overthrown by a pro-Western military government which renounced the Confrontation and accepted Malaysia. Britain's policy, however seemingly successful was, however, vital in her post-imperial retreat from empire and in abandoning her global defence role.
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The Brunei revolt and the start of Confrontation
Pressing ahead with Malaysia AprilSeptember 1963
Coping with the Confrontation September 1963April 1964
Escalation and rethink MayOctober 1964
Labour and the Confrontation October 1964March 1965
Exit Singapore AprilSeptember 1965
The coup attempt in Indonesia September 1965January 1966
Ending the Confrontation JanuaryAugust 1966
Other editions - View all
agreement allies American asked attack attrition Australia Begg Bottomley Britain British forces British military British policy British policymakers Brunei Brunei revolt Butler Cabinet Canberra claimed colonies commitments Committee Commonwealth communist coup covert cross border operations DEFE defence review defend Malaysia diplomatic DOPC Douglas-Home east of Suez end the Confrontation escalation FEAF Weekly Intelligence Foreign Office Gilchrist to FO guerrilla Head to CRO Healey Indonesian army infiltration internal security Jakarta January Kalimantan Kuala Lumpur London Lumpur to CRO Macmillan Malaya meeting Memo Menzies military presence Mountbatten negotiations North Borneo OPDC overseas paper Peck Philippine political PREM 11 Prime Minister propaganda Quadripartite talks raids Razak Reddaway role Rusk Sandys Sarawak SEATO Secretary Selkirk September Singapore base Singapore's South East Asia Stewart strategy Subandrio subversion Suharto Sukarno Sukendro Sumatra Thomeycroft Tunku United Nations wanted Washington Weekly Intelligence Summary Wilson withdrawal from Singapore Zealand