Confronting Sukarno: British, American, Australian and New by J. Subritzky

By J. Subritzky

Confronting Sukarno examines the nearby and foreign implications of the Malaysian-Indonesian war of words, a quandary extra popularly referred to as Konfrontasi. by means of doing so, primary issues in regards to the Asian chilly conflict are mentioned. specifically, the fear of western coverage makers with an more and more belligerent communist China, the significance of Konfrontasi to the warfare in Vietnam and the British 'role' east of Suez, are all tested intimately. Being a piece of overseas historical past, the ebook attracts commonly from lately de-classified records within the usa, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

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8 Many other policy makers in Washington believed much more was needed. '9 Robert Komer viewed the situation in a very similar light. '10 This being so, Komer argued that American troops should be sent sooner, when the Vietcong was still relatively weak, rather than later, when a major guerrilla insurrection could already be well established. He concluded: I'm no happier than anyone about getting involved in another squalid, secondary theatre in Asia. But we'll end up doing so sooner or later anyway because we won't be willing to accept another defeat.

Not surprisingly, the existing historiography on American policy in Southeast Asia has been dominated by US involvement in the Vietnam war. Unfortunately, such a focus has neglected the importance of relations with other countries to Kennedy's overall strategy for the region. South Vietnam, it must be remembered, was a small country of approximately 170,000 square miles and a population of almost 15 million. Further south, the Federation of Malaysia was even smaller, with a population barely exceeding ten million.

If so, the real question is not whether but how soon and how much. 11 Not all American policy makers agreed with these sentiments. K. Galbraith, then ambassador to India, and Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield, counselled the president against expanding American involvement in Vietnam. 12 The most persistent and articulate of the early critics was under-secretary of state Chester Bowles. Starting in October 1961, he challenged the conventional wisdom in Washington that the protection of western interests in Southeast Asia required the defeat of the NLF.

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