This book is about understanding how former combatants come home after war, and how their political lives are refracted by the war and the experience of coming home itself. In particular, it captures the political mobilization among former combatants as they come home from three very different types of war: civil war (Colombia), war of independence (Namibia), and interstate war (United States involvement in the Vietnam War). The book provides a much-needed long-term perspective on peace. It also demonstrates the artificial division between literatures across the Global North and Global South, and demonstrates how these literatures speak to each other just as the three cases speak to each other. The novel use of interviews to document life histories and the inside perspective they provide also give a unique insight into the former combatants’ own perspectives on the process of coming home and their sense of political voice. This book is not about peacebuilding in the sense of interventions. Rather, it examines peace as a process through studying the lived experiences of individuals, displaying the dynamics of political mobilization after disarmament across time in the lives of fifty former combatants. The book demonstrates how the process of coming home shapes their political commitment and identity, and how the legacy of war is a powerful reminder in the lives of these former combatants long after the end of the war.
Nuclear weapons cooperation and the US–Australia alliance
Stephan Frühling and Andrew O'Neil
which America feels to Australia under ANZUS could be influenced by the
contributions which Australia makes to the common defence’. 21 The Kennedy
administration’s approach of bypassing SEATO on decisions
concerning the US commitment to the VietnamWar effectively rendered the
organisation moribund. 22
Australia’s decision to join the US-led coalition in Vietnam can
sterling was renewed by the influx of $1 billion in credits from foreign
central banks. 71
The Commonwealth Peace Mission on Vietnam
A Foreign Office analysis from June
1965 examined the VietnamWar in the context of the Anglo-American
relationship. It began by noting that British ‘direct
involvement’ in Vietnam ‘is insignificant. Our major interest in
the situation in Indochina is to see that it does not
From January to April 1965 the
character of the Wilson–Johnson relationship traversed the spectrum
from discord to cordiality. Discord erupted over the VietnamWar when Wilson
telephoned Washington in the early hours of 11 February to suggest to
Johnson an urgent visit to the White House. Wilson later claimed that he
wanted to see the President to try to ensure that there was no dangerous
. Having inherited a bloated military establishment, Kennedy wanted
someone who would tame America’s industrial-military complex.
JFK was not disappointed. His new secretary for defence tore through the
Pentagon like a tornado, dismantling fiefdoms, weeding out waste and redundancy, and, for the first time, holding the military to account. Using statistics
and charts, McNamara was determined to extract value out of every dollar
While his reforms of the US military succeeded, McNamara’s reputation suffered when America became mired in the disastrous VietnamWar
Vietnamese refugees (about 2,000 of whom were so-called ‘boat people’)
by the mid-1980s in the wake of the VietnamWar (in which, as noted, Australia
was a combatant) was a conspicuous indication of the passing into history of White
Of course, legal changes did not mean an end to public debates and ideological
undercurrents surrounding Australia’s positioning in an Asian context, especially
given long-standing anxiety over what had often been described as the ‘Yellow Peril’.
The ‘Australia for the White Man’ banner of the politically influential and popular
as implemented during the VietnamWar, in Central America and then in Iraq has also revealed a rich underbelly of amoral strategies that have left in their wake a recurring pattern of serious human rights violations including murder and torture.
More recent and rigorous archival research has undermined the idea that Britain used only the minimum necessary force and with the utmost discrimination during the wars of decolonisation in the two decades after 1945.
to the 1970s. Despite the deepening unemployment crisis, the peace movement was preoccupied with the placement of cruise missiles on British territory and the confrontational posturing on either side of the Iron Curtain. Many on CND feared that a multifaceted approach would dilute the potency of its message, just as the preoccupation with the VietnamWar had done in the late 1960s. The campaign made a deliberate choice in 1981 to drop its economic dimension and focus entirely on the imposition of cruise missiles and the planned replacement of the Polaris submarine
This book is based mainly on government sources, namely material from the White House, State Department, Foreign Office (FO), Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Prime Minister's Office (PREM) and Cabinet (CAB). Private papers consulted include those of Harold Wilson, Foreign Secretary George Brown and Undersecretary of State George Ball. The book explores a period of the Wilson-Johnson relationship. It considers the seven weeks from Wilson's election until he went to see Lyndon B. Johnson on 7-9 December, a formative period in which Britain cultivated American financial support and which saw pre-summit diplomacy over the NATO Multilateral Force (MLF). The book covers the summit in detail, examining the diplomatic exchanges over the Vietnam War, the British commitment East of Suez and the MLF, as well as the interplay of personality between Wilson and Johnson. By exploring the relationship of the two leaders in the years 1964-1968, it seeks to examine their respective attitudes to the Anglo-American relationship. The book then assesses the significance of an alleged Anglo-American strategic-economic 'deal', Wilson's 'Commonwealth Peace Mission' to Vietnam, and another Wilson visit to Washington. It also considers why the personal relationship between Johnson and Wilson suffered such strain when the Labour government 'dissociated' the UK from the latest American measures in Vietnam. Next, the book addresses the period from August 1966-September 1967, during which Wilson launched an intense but abortive effort to initiate peace negotiations over Vietnam, and London announced plans to withdraw from military bases East of Suez.
a mixed bag. Expensive prestige projects, such as the TSR-2, were cancelled, but other weapons systems were ordered in their place. The ban on arms sales to South Africa won support on the left but was undone by arms trading elsewhere, often in war-torn regions. Although the government did not provide military support to the United States in the VietnamWar, the left interpreted the lack of outright criticism as an indication of tacit support.
For sure, Labour reduced military expenditure while in office, not