In early 1965 Britain had over 60,000 servicemen deployed in the Far East, together with a surface fleet of over eighty warships.! The main reason for this extraordinary level of deployment was Indonesia's Confrontation of Malaysia. Started in January 1963, Konfrontasi had become, by 1965, Britain's gravest colonial crisis of the 1960s. This essay places Britain's Confrontation policy in its international context. No nation's foreign policy is formulated in a vacuum. For British officials, both the creation and the subsequent defence of Malaysia were inextricably linked to Britain's relationship with the United States and, to a lesser degree, Australia and New Zealand. It is contended in this essay that Britain's primary motivation for establishing Malaysia was to preserve its influence in the region in an era where formal empire was no longer tenable. A continued British political and military presence in Southeast Asia, based in Singapore, was regarded in London as a vital element in securing strategic partnership with the Americans, and in maintaining Commonwealth solidarity with the Australians and New Zealanders.