Cold War Southeast Asia

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There was no Oder-Neisse Line in Indochina.

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There had always been interchange between these regions-cum-states, each with significant diaspora in the others. Governments in distant Saigon, Phnom Penh or Vientiane could do little to control their frontiers. The sides hurled propaganda. Governments had far less power in Southeast Asia than their counterparts in Europe.

Throughout most of the Cold War, Southeast Asian states had two or more governments which claimed rule. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia experienced periods in which territory in each was controlled by opposing governments, dividing the country, each claiming to hold legitimate power over the whole.

Southeast Asia After the Cold War

Government heads did not stay in power long and there were constant overthrow attempts by both communist and anti-communist forces. Loyalties also shifted. In Southeast Asia, Western governments were unwilling to commit fully to total war and unwilling or unable to take, occupy and hold territory they had won.

The US, having just fought an unpopular war in Korea, was unwilling to commit to another war in Asia.


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In previous modern wars such as WWI and WWII, large-scale troop deployments and naval, air, armor and artillery support were central features and the war was prosecuted largely by one army defeating the enemy militarily and advancing to occupy ever more territory until the state leadership was destroyed or it capitulated.

Capitols, major population centers and industrial areas were particular targets of bombing campaigns.

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It was total war. Both world wars ended when belligerent governments surrendered. Their troops stopped fighting and normal life returned. Communist forces, in territory and a culture much more home to them than their white counterparts, returned wherever they left. The moment Western troops left an area, they lost control of it. Though America used its fire support assets to great effect and multiplied the effectiveness of its troops, the enemy did not abate for it. The U.

The French and American governments sought to end their wars in Southeast Asia as soon as they began and both eventually pursued negotiated settlements. They did not win the wars.

The popular conception of past wars and what, where, how, who and why they were conducted is often incomplete and the accuracy of the picture fades over time despite the clearer image produced by years of academic study after the fact. Since the dominant narratives or popular conception of wars past determines how wars are perceived in the future, it becomes all the more important to look deeper into even recent history for an accurate picture of events.

As ever—those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Chris Miller is a U. Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient following two tours in Baghdad, Iraq and has worked as a military contractor in the Middle East. His work currently focuses on strategic studies. Your email address will not be published.

About Cicero Contribute Contact Us. Home features opinion essays interviews reviews. July 3, In addition, China also enhanced its reputation among ASEAN countries in the Asian financial crisis by pledging not to devalue its currency and supporting the Chiang Mai Initiative CMI , a multilateral currency swap arrangement. The South China Sea dispute became a major concern. Southeast Asian countries are not pivoting away from China amidst the intensifying rivalry between the US and China.

The Cold War

Economically many of them continue to embrace China. So far, Southeast Asian countries remain cautious of fully accepting, let alone embracing, the Chinese vision. The deepening of economic cooperation with China has often been balanced by a security relationship with the US. Salta al contenuto principale.

Peter Osborne: Traces – Unravelling the Cold War in Southeast Asia / Radical Philosophy

Chow-Bing Ngeow. Mids to early s: The Second Cold War These setbacks were compensated for when three maritime Southeast Asian countries —Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines — began a diplomatic rapprochement with China in the mids. Contenuti correlati:. Ti potrebbero interessare anche:.

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