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By S. Thompson

This publication examines the hyperlinks among Britain's withdrawal from its east of Suez position and the institution of South-East Asian neighborhood safety preparations. The hyperlink among those occasions isn't really direct, yet a courting existed, that is vital to a much wider knowing of the improvement of local safety preparations.

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Additional info for British Military Withdrawal and the Rise of Regional Cooperation in South-East Asia, 1964–73

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Then London would try to influence American policy, as it was more likely that America and the Generals would approach each other first. Both the Indonesian army and the United States sought the same outcome for Indonesia and the region – a strong, stable and non-communist regime that was able to resist communist challenges. 18 The Malaysians also reported that the Indonesian army had approached them as well. The Malaysian Prime Minister, Tunku Abdel Rahman, told the British Government that he had been contacted in September, prior to the attempted coup in Jakarta, for certain ‘undertakings and guarantees’ if the army moved against the PKI.

In May 1965, Britain was spending £90 million in Germany each year, and recouping only £20–40 million in offset agreements. 36 At another meeting, on 3 June, Healey told McNamara that Britain might get three-quarters of the way to its 1969–70 target of £2000 million for defence through cuts in equipment without any substantial change in commitments. But with their ongoing roles, British forces would remain overextended. Therefore, there could be no reductions in the services until their commitments were reduced.

Therefore, the British decided that they had to attempt to guide events, but without confirming to Malaysia and Singapore that their own phased withdrawal from the region was a long-term objective. 7 Washington believed that the proposal to use the separation of Singapore as a basis for initiating negotiations with Indonesia to end Confrontation could have serious repercussions. The possibility of British demilitarisation in South-East Asia might cause Malaysia and Singapore to seek closer relations with Indonesia or China.

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