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Britain and the Confrontation with Indonesia, 1960-66

David Easter
IB Tauris (24 September 2004)

The 'Confrontation' is Britain's forgotten war. Yet as David Easter shows, it was a major commitment involving over 50,000 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 Malaysia by guerrilla 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.