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‘Measuring Victory: Assessing the Outcomes of Konfrontasi, 1963-66’

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-898
JournalJOURNAL OF MILITARY HISTORY
Volume82
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018

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Abstract

From 1963-66 Britain and Indonesia clashed in a low-intensity conflict known as the Confrontation. Orthodox perspectives have coded this conflict a tremendous British victory. Revisionist authors have demonstrated the contingent and questionable nature of this conclusion. This article re-assesses the outcomes of Confrontation by using an alternative methodological framework: five key themes drawn from the wider literature on military victory. Using such a lens supports many aspects of the revisionist case, but shows also that the outcomes of Confrontation are even more complex. Confrontation in fact provides an object lesson in the difficulties in assessing categorically the outcomes of war. As such, its importance to our understanding of the problems in defining victory in war has been greatly under-valued.

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