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