Borneo 1963-66: Counter-insurgency Operations and War Termination

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10 Citations (Scopus)


If they are examined at all, British counter-insurgency operations in Borneo from 1963-66 tend to be viewed as an overwhelming and, indeed, an almost inevitable success. This is a misleading and, in terms of deriving broader lessons, very dangerous conclusion. This article examines the British counter insurgency (COIN) campaign in Borneo from two perspectives. First, it examines the tactical and operational level aspects of the campaign, including command and control relationships, political constraints, and deniable operations. Second, it investigates the relationship between the COIN campaign and the strategic objectives that the British government pursued. The analysis concludes that there was a dangerous disconnect between the military and political aspects of the campaign. British success in Borneo was a contingent outcome that appeared elusive until the very last stages of the crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89 - 111
Number of pages23
JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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