Epilogue: The ‘Lessons’ of British Counterinsurgency
Although the Malayan emergency ended almost 30 years ago, it remains the principal example of counterinsurgency taught by the British army. While interpretations of the campaign vary from unqualified admiration to rank scepticism, no one has denied that the campaign represents the only clear-cut victory over a Communist revolution. Malaya can, however, only be understood against the background of internal security operations during the first half of the twentieth century. The British victory was not due entirely to chance or to fortuitous circumstances, although these played their part. Malaya could not have been won without the half century of experience that preceded it. No study of this experience would be quite complete without consideration of what part of it can be transferred to other times and places.
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