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America in Indochina, 1957–1963: British Perceptions, Hopes, and Strategy

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image of Journal of American-East Asian Relations

British perceptions of the United States in Indochina between 1957 and 1963 were cautious and constructive. This article examines the perceptions of policymakers in Prime Minister Harold MacMillan's government and public opinion as expressed in the Times of London. British policymakers had basic doubts regarding American policy in Indochina, but Britain remained involved in the region after 1954 and agreed with the United States on defining the problem and on the broad methodological approach to the crisis. London wanted to ensure that Washington pursued the “right” policy in Indochina, that Britain utilized its expertise in post-colonial and counter-insurgency, and that the Anglo- American alliance maintained its importance for both countries. The study of these perceptions reveals some concerns which we would anticipate, but also shows that Britain respected the United States as a leader in the region and that it agreed with the United States on core issues.


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