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Arc of ContainmentBritain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia$
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Wen-Qing Ngoei

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501716409

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501716409.001.0001

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Manifest Fantasies

Manifest Fantasies

British-Malayan Counterinsurgency and Nation Building in U.S. Strategy

(p.82) Chapter 3 Manifest Fantasies
Arc of Containment

Wen-Qing Ngoei

Cornell University Press

This chapter revisits the Malayan Emergency to recover the outsize American fascination with Britain’s military triumph over the guerrillas of the Malayan Communist Party. It traces how U.S. policymakers’ attempts to cherry-pick lessons from the British counterinsurgency campaign in Malaya shaped U.S. regional and global strategies from the 1950s through the 1960s. The American preoccupation with British-Malayan counterinsurgency tactics, as well as British and Malayan leaders’ efforts to exploit this preoccupation and thereby strengthen their Cold War partnership with America, illuminates the British Empire’s critical and enduring influence upon American empire-building across the global South.

Keywords:   Counterinsurgency, Malayan Emergency, Malayan Communist Party, Cold War, American empire-building, Global South, British Empire

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