Indonesia-US military ties improved on counter-terrorism cooperation

21:51, July 23, 2010      

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The recent announcement made by U. S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates during his visit to Indonesia that the United States would like to resume military ties with Indonesian army's special forces resulted from major reform which had persisted in the special forces.

The special forces are believed to have been able to transit to military professional from being the guards and minions of the regime under former Indonesian ruler Soeharto.

The United States also learned that those forces had made significant progress on human rights issue. Indonesia has implemented human rights subject in police and military academies.

The United States severed military ties with Indonesia due to alleged human rights abuse committed by Indonesian special forces during the referendum process in former Indonesian province of East Timor in 1999 that eventually resulted in the secession of the province into an independent state.

The resumption of cooperation between the two countries' military could lead to joint training, higher education and training programs for Indonesian military officers in the U.S., military equipment maintenance, supply of advanced arms for Indonesian forces.

The maintenance program has been underway with landmark departure of Indonesian military cargo plane C130 Hercules to U.S. for major overhaul project earlier this month.

As Indonesia has developed into the world's third largest democracy after India and the U.S., as well as the largest moderate Muslim nation, the United States began to think that it was time to resume ties, particularly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States.

Washington regards Indonesia as a potential partner in its global counter terrorism strategy.

It was expressed in the statements of U.S. Secretary of States Hillary Clinton during her official tour to several Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia earlier this year.

"This region is a set of countries that will be keys to any solutions we pursue on climate change, counter terrorism and so much else," she said.

Indonesia, the largest country in the region, has been successful in its war against terrorism with many of terrorist accomplices and leaders being'paralyzed'and arrested. Some of Indonesian terrorists were linked to Al-Qaeda led by Osama Ben Laden, the notorious terrorist leader whom U.S. has been hunting to this day.

Assisted by the U.S., Indonesian police anti-terror squad, the Detachment 88, is continuing its efforts to dismantle terror organizations in the country which presumably still have supporters and possible terror cells in certain areas.

Source: Xinhua


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