Academic journal article Military Review

Nothing Short of War: With the Australian Army in Borneo, 1962-66

Academic journal article Military Review

Nothing Short of War: With the Australian Army in Borneo, 1962-66

Article excerpt

NOTHING SHORT OF WAR: With the Australian Army in Borneo, 1962-66, Neil C. Smith, Citadel Press, Melbourne, 1999, 191 pages, $40.00.

In January 2000, I visited the North Borneo region of Malaysia. While walking around, I saw many "Indons," as Indonesians are called locally. It was obvious that their homeland's economic and social troubles had driven them into the bordering country. I thought, "Where Sukarno failed to penetrate Sabah, Brunei and Sarawak, his lowly peasants have succeeded."

In the 1960s Sukarno longed to include all parts of current Malaysia in a greater Indonesia. He and others envisioned Indonesia as encompassing all of the people of Malay stock or who had been part of the former Dutch East Indies. The new country would extend from the New Guinea boundaries with Papua to the regions where Malays numerically dominate and populations of Thais and other peoples begin.

The problem facing Sukarno in the northwest area of this dream plan was the British territories of the Malay Peninsula-Singapore, Sultanate of Brunei and the Borneo regions of Sarawak and British North Borneo, now called the Sabah State of Malaysia. The Malay Peninsula had just defeated a communist attempt at revolution. …

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