How Wars End
: War Termination in African and Asian Colonial Warfare

  • Glyn Alexander Duggan

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This thesis tests war termination theories against the historical reality of four colonial wars fought in Africa and Asia by European powers in the period 1946 to 1974. 'Victory' was examined by looking at the ideas of O' Connor and Carroll. To win a colonial war the imperial power must promise to, and be seen to be taking steps towards granting eventual independence. Otherwise,the colonial power will not win the hearts and minds of the population. 'Termination points' were analysed by applying the ideas of Coser, Galtung, Kecskemeti, Klingberg and Voevodsky to colonial warfare.It was found that the termination point which tipped the balance was the realisation after a succession of battle defeats that war was unwinnable. Azar's idea that de-escalation occurred because of military setbacks or public opinion pressures was only evident in Portugal's war in Mozambique.In Malaya,deescalation occurred after British military success. In Algeria and Indochina a large military presence was needed to stabilise the military situation and maintain civic order right up to war's end. Regarding factors delaying war termination, it was found that France and Portugal's paternalistic approach to colonial management,combined with economic necessity and the fear of Communism all helped to delay the ending of war.
Randle's view that political reorientation heralded the ending of a war seems to be supported by events. So too does Halperin and Rothstein's idea of regime change and war termination. Tactics to secure peace agreements will only be effective if one of the belligerents wants war termination regardless of political costs.Ideological hatred and unrealised war ambitions undermine peace and can lead to further bloodshed. A framework combining observable behaviour such as battle defeats and military and political indicators of a war's imminent end has been devised to help policy-makers decide when to terminate a war.
Dyddiad Dyfarnu1999
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  • Prifysgol Aberystwyth

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