The impact of colonialism and the efforts of indigenous governments to modernize and create an effective political system are two factors that set the stage for most unconventional conflicts. In most cases, the move from a traditional to a modern system creates a degree of instability, eroding the existing system's socioeconomic and political-psychological tenets. In turn, this gives rise to counter-elites and opposition groups. At the same time, these conditions pave the way for a resurgence of racial and ethnic animosities, which in some cases are the root cause of unconventional conflicts. Also, external forces often play a major role in fostering instability. In brief, revolutionary conflicts stem from complicated socio- economic and political-psychological factors, often combined with intervention by an external force.
Two common conflict patterns have characterized Third World states: anticolonial revolutions and revolutions against indigenous governments. Anticolonial revolutions occurred primarily during the 1950s and 1960s. Subsequently, revolutions have occurred against indigenous governments.
While this capsule summary of the growth of unconventional conflicts does not capture the deep political, social, and economic challenges characterizing unconventional conflicts, it does provide several reference points. Applying these to the conflicts in Malaya and Vietnam, we can see it was the colonial system in the former, and a combination of colonial and indigenous patterns in the latter, that created the environment for unconventional conflict. It is also important to note that Japanese occupation of both areas in World War II was a precipitating factor in the outbreak of these unconven