Confrontation, Strategy and War Termination: Britain's Conflict with Indonesia, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Confrontation, Strategy and War Termination

Britain's Conflict with Indonesia, 1st Edition

By Christopher Tuck


264 pages

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Hardback: 9781409446309
pub: 2013-02-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315573410
pub: 2016-05-23
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At the heart of this book is the problem of war termination. Britain won an almost unbroken string of tactical military victories during an undeclared war against the Republic of Indonesia in the 1960s, yet it proved difficult to translate this into strategic success. Using conflict termination theories, this book argues that British strategy during Confrontation was both exemplary and flawed, both of which need not be mutually exclusive. The British experience in Indonesia represents an illuminating case study of the difficulties associated with strategy and the successful termination of conflicts. The value of this book lies in two areas: as a contribution to the literature on British counter-insurgency operations and as a contribution to the debates on the problems of war termination in the context of strategic thought.


’This is an important book. It moves our study of Confrontation with Indonesia to the next level, insightfully combining thorough empirical research with clear-eyed theoretical analysis. Tuck presents a well-argued historical example of the difference between respectable strategic coping and aimless muddling through. He demonstrates why we should see British strategy towards Indonesia as both skillful and flawed, analyzing problems facing a middle power with much that resonates today.’ Brian P. Farrell, National University of Singapore, Singapore ’An academically rigorous but very accessible analysis that sheds vital new light on the nature of British success in its major campaign during the era of East of Suez�.’ Eric Grove, University of Salford, UK

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Fighting Indonesia: British strategy and the emergence of confrontation; Theories of war termination; ’Bristling with difficulties’: British objectives; ’Soldiering on’: British options and assessment; British planning: the paradox of preparation; Britain’s war termination problem: the external dimension; Britain’s war termination problem: the internal dimension; Conclusions; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Christopher Tuck, Defence Studies Department, King’s College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, UK.

About the Series

Military Strategy and Operational Art

Military Strategy and Operational Art
The Ashgate Series on Military Strategy and Operational Art analyzes and assesses the synergistic interrelationship between joint and combined military operations, national military strategy, grand strategy, and national political objectives in peacetime, as well as during periods of armed conflict. In doing so, the series highlights how various patterns of civil-military relations, as well as styles of political and military leadership influence the outcome of armed conflicts. In addition, the series highlights both the advantages and challenges associated with the joint and combined use of military forces involved in humanitarian relief, nation building, and peacekeeping operations, as well as across the spectrum of conflict extending from limited conflicts fought for limited political objectives to total war fought for unlimited objectives. Finally, the series highlights the complexity and challenges associated with insurgency and counter-insurgency operations, as well as conventional operations and operations involving the possible use of weapons of mass destruction. Scholars and practitioners in the fields of politico-military history, international relations, and national security policy are invited to contribute to this new series as well as faculty at senior and intermediate level service schools involved in professional military education.

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