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8 - Optimising Counterinsurgency

1952 to 1960

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2021

Karl Hack
Affiliation:
The Open University, Milton Keynes
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Summary

Over 1953–60 counterinsurgency was optimised, buidling upon the solid foundations of geodemographic control achieved over 1950–2, and of systems optimisation achieved under Templer. Framework operations by units bolted onto localities were continuously refined, as was the use of jungle forts to win over the Orang Asli, and of big combined Special Branch–food control–military operations. Together these sustained an ‘elimination’ rate (kills, surrenders, captures) of about 20 per cent of insurgents a year – that is, until after the MCP attempt to negotiate at Baling in 1955 was rebuffed, and then further negotiation was refused from late 1957. As hope faded insurgent ‘surrenders’ (some induced or duped) snowballed in the face of priority big operations. By now those featured months-long intense controls, each targetting the entire area of one or more MCP committees. That way the MCP would struggle to regenerate afterwards. The collapse of local MCP forces often came as freedoms increased elsewhere, while a big operation clamped down more strongly than ever on the targetted area. In 1958 the MCP decided on a strategy of running down the military campaign, and the Emergency was formally ended on 31 July 1958.

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The Malayan Emergency
Revolution and Counterinsurgency at the End of Empire
, pp. 340 - 385
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Optimising Counterinsurgency
  • Karl Hack, The Open University, Milton Keynes
  • Book: The Malayan Emergency
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139942515.009
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  • Optimising Counterinsurgency
  • Karl Hack, The Open University, Milton Keynes
  • Book: The Malayan Emergency
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139942515.009
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Optimising Counterinsurgency
  • Karl Hack, The Open University, Milton Keynes
  • Book: The Malayan Emergency
  • Online publication: 16 December 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139942515.009
Available formats
×