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This series highlights research on historical and related matters in Singapore and the region, creating an appreciation of the role of humanities and social sciences research in contemporary society.
The Malayan Emergency: An American Obsession
It is popularly believed that U.S. leaders implemented British tactics from the Malayan Emergency in the Vietnam War, and that America’s military failures there prove the irrelevance of the Malayan Emergency to the Vietnam War and/or Washington’s incorrect application of otherwise effective British strategies.
This talk will show that Britain’s approach to the Malayan Emergency was, in fact, never deployed in Vietnam. It will scrutinise the very emergence of the enduring myth about the American use, or misuse, of British tactics in Vietnam and examines how the fascination of U.S. leaders with the Malayan Emergency intertwined with British-Malayan efforts to burnish their record and, crucially, how America’s debacle in Vietnam actually amplified Washington’s obsession with the Malayan Emergency even to today.
Thursday, 25 July 2019
7.00 pm – 8.00 pm
Level 5, Possibility Room
National Library Building
Dr Ngoei Wen Qing specialises in 20th-century U.S. foreign relations with Southeast Asia. His first book, Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2019) examines how British decolonisation in Malaya and Singapore intertwined with Southeast Asian anticommunist nationalism to shape U.S. policy in the region.
Professor Taomo Zhou specialises in modern Chinese and Southeast Asian history at Nanyang Technological University. She graduated with a Ph.D. in History from Cornell University and has been published in The China Quarterly, the journal Indonesia, and The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China. Her first book, Migration in the Time of Revolution: China, Indonesia and the Cold War (Cornell University Press) will be released in 2019.