Military links between Australia and Indonesia: an amoral assessment

Indonesia Australia

Clinton Fernandes reviews the 2006 security agreement between Australia and Indonesia and finds that the realpolitik argument fails on its own terms. He rejects claims that military cooperation will enhance counter-terrorism, contribute to stability in Indonesia, or facilitate awareness of human rights issues within the Indonesian armed forces. The success of the ADF role in InterFET, he argues, came from the Indonesian military's diplomatic isolation and the preponderance of Australian force rather than access to senior Indonesian military personnel.

Finally Fernandes rejects the argument that Australia would have to spend a prohibitively high sum of money on defence in the absence of close relations with the TNI. Leaving aside the absence of aggressive intent the Indonesian military does not have the naval or air assets required to project power against Australia, let alone to sustain itself logistically.

Publication Details
Publication Year: