Chapter

The Colonial State

David French

in The British Way in Counter-Insurgency, 1945-1967

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199587964
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731365 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587964.003.0002
The Colonial State

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British colonies were not failed states, but they were sometimes fragile states. The Colonial civil service was tiny compared to the territory and the number of people that it governed. Colonial police forces were small, badly trained and under equipped, and their domestic intelligence services were frequently inadequate. In an emergency they could summon military help. But the number of soldiers that could be sent was itself limited, both by the strategic necessity of deploying most of the army in a conventional role elsewhere, by shortages of money that made it impossible to tap more than a small proportion of the potential military manpower of the colonies themselves, and by political constraints on deploying that manpower even when it had been raised.

Keywords: colonial state; colonial police; intelligence machinery; Special Branch; the army and counter-insurgency

Chapter.  17582 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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