Term Paper: Military Assistance Funding for Indonesia

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U.S. Military Assistance Funding to Indonesia

The Causative People, Events, and Factors

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This case study examines the issues surrounding the influence, intervention, sanctions, and programs applied toward Indonesia support. Key to this study will be the individual people, groups, and institutions surrounding the successes and failures in this assistance and the motivations, perceptions, and agendas involved.

Historical Overview of Indonesia and United States' National Security Interests

According to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs

, Indonesia is a strategic key to our National Security interests. Located strategically alongside several important international maritime crossroads, ingress to the United States from the sea must be managed from such strategic locations.

The United States enjoys a reliable relationship with Indonesia at this time; playing a significant role in its independence and supporting its anti-communistic position during the Cold War has worked to repay our nation in 'cordial and cooperative relations' today.

Jemaah Islamiyah -- a terrorist organization -- made its presence known to Indonesia during terrorist attacks on Bali (October 2002) and Jakarta (August 2003). Occurring so close to the United States attacks of September 11, 2001, the alliance -- although not a formal treaty -- has meaning and value to both countries.

U.S. Military Assistance Prior to Sanctions and How Funding was Used

Prior to the 1999 military sanctions placed on Indonesia for "human rights abuses which followed the vote for independence in East Timor (Manning, 2003)"

the United States provided support and arms to Indonesia for the Timor invasion and other military objectives. Admittedly cloaked by an official 'embargo', secret Washington authorization and then President Clinton's "refus[al] to discuss with Australia and other countries the formation (of an international force)" enabled a pogrom with violence easily avoided but for the fact the "administration dithered for days."

Since 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act 37 times against 31 countries, one of them Indonesia.

Sanctions

Economic and military sanctions were placed on Indonesia for its repression of the former Portuguese colony of Eastern Timor; labor rights and lack of human application were included in the reasons for the sanction.

Sanctions against Indonesia arose due to the political corruption, terrorist activity and crime, and abominations against humanity with the pogrom waged against Eastern Timor. According to the Indonesia News, the newly elected President -- Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono -- has put his government workers on notice, demanding they 'sign a pledge of professionalism, honesty, loyalty, and hard work.'

Those who decline to sign or comply have been warned of 'certain ... sanctions.'

Further, Randal K. Quarles, Assistant Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs, cites money laundering and counter terrorist finance laws as largely sanction-initiating causative factors.

In a December, 2004 statement from the United Nations year end meetings, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has approved loans and grants for 17 developing countries; Indonesia will receive a portion of the $88.4 million for "development of marginal upland and costal communities."

According to UNAMET Spokesman David Wimhurst, Presidential-driven change is still largely seen only in larger cities but this change is providing a greater comfort level for easing economic and agricultural sanctions against the people of Indonesia.

For ease of reference, a listing of sanctions against Indonesia is provided in the table located in Appendix A.

Aim

The primary aim of this case study is to reveal those individuals, organizations, and associations behind the Congressional face with reasons and force enough to enforce sanctions or influence lifting them. In meeting this aim, individuals, in particular, with hidden agendas will be exposed, humanitarian motives will be explored, and economic, social, and power influences will be laid open to the harsh scrutiny of truth.

Objectives

This thesis will explore:

Who has been the driving force behind Congressional sanctions;

Who has attempted to influence the sanctions in either direction -- enforcement or abolition; and Efficacy of these efforts.

The Informal Universe

In a Wall Street Journal article, referenced during a May 2001 gathering of the United States House of Representatives, and written by the Director of Foreign Policy Studies of the Brookings Institution, Richard Haass

cites the popularity -- on all local and national levels -- of government sanctions. In this article he recommended several conditions by which sanctions should be measured:

Use sanctions sparingly;

Avoid unilateral sanctions;

Resist secondary sanctions;

Tailor sanctions narrowly;

Don't hold major bilateral relationships hostage to a single issue;

Include humanitarian exceptions in any comprehensive sanctions;

Issue a policy statement to Congress before or soon after a sanction is put in place;

Include an exit strategy in every sanction plan;

Allow the president discretion in the form of waivers; and Challenge the authority of states and municipalities to institute economic sanctions.

In a discussion on the individuated personalities and agendas which drive sanctions, these points will all be brought to bear in the continuing discussion found in this work.

Rebecca Hersman -- a former Pentagon and Capitol Hill worker -- has been hailed as offering the 'most informative account of how executive -- congressional interactions actually work.'

Coining the 'informal universe', Ms. Hersman discusses this world as a place of interaction where issue leaders personalities drive the process. When differing agencies engage in pet causes or strong agenda-driven issues, congressional allies and advocates -- inside and outside governmental arenas -- are drafted for the ensuing struggle.

Examples such as arms sales to Turkey, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and international sanctions -- of which Indonesia is but one -- are rife with express and implied arguments of favoritism, power plays, and 'suffering from the inattention to the more [important] complex world of trade and economic issues.'

Within this slim book, an argument is made for the real power in government -- the personality and ability of the wielder of such to influence Congress to do its will. The 1787 Constitutional Convention convened to create a government of 'separated powers'; a check and balance system designed to keep each branch of the government separate yet accountable to the other two.

What has evolved instead is a world of "separated institutions sharing powers" (Neustadt, 1969). If this premise is valid, then, the strongest, most charismatic personality wins the day -- and the Indonesian military assistance funding bill(s) before Congress.

Post cold-war, the country is riddled with concern over the executive-legislative relationships which deal with international sanctions and other weighty matters of global economization. If indeed, the personality conflicts and disputes reported between the President and Congress are to be the bellwethers of the United States' successful ongoing foreign policy, the diversity must be placed in proper and honest context. Hidden agendas must be laid out in the harsh light of exploration and destroyed with the agility necessary for the common good of all peoples.

How, then, will this personality-driven, private agenda process and its currently generalized acceptance -- i.e., looking the other way - affect foreign policy and sanction setting?

Issue Leaders

Overview

While individual power explains many of the ways Congressional representatives affect foreign policy, it does nothing to help understand who is influenced or driven to participate.

There are always partisan loyalties and personal relationship links, but Ms. Hersman argues the primary role falls to the 'issue leader'. She explains that any member of Congress can become an issue leader if they are inclined to champion the issue at hand.

Not a new concept, informal power and manipulation for favored issues have been around for many years. This process is growing, however, due to numerous factors; the end of the cold war; demise of the Soviet Union as a world power; declining Congressional urgency; disincentives to 'pound the stump'; the general public's disinterest in foreign policy; and complexity make the foreign issue champion a member of an elite and relatively small group.

This elitist group plays a 'disproportionate role' in setting issue relativity. Depending on personal interests, committees, and other positions, the issue of the day may be the one a Congressperson has awaited a long time.

Many fingers are found in the pie of political sanctions; individual Congressional representatives, the U.S. Administration, lobbyists, special interest groups, several former Presidents, and so on.

Indonesia Players

Who are the issue leaders in the sanctions against Indonesia? From an economic standpoint, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) -- an international but non-governmental lobbyist organization -- Greenpeace, and the Sierra Club lobbies for sanctions against everything from rain forests to ramin wood.

Small cities in the United States -- Takoma Park, Maryland, for this example -- take up sanctions against such foreign countries as Myanmar and Indonesia, citing 'human rights abuses' and 'deadly force against Christians' as reasons to invoke economic sanctions. No big deal? PepsiCo owns 40% of the bottling company supplying Indonesia with soft drinks; with the public sanctions in place, market share dwindles exponentially as long as the government does not implement human rights strategies for all people.

Congress has several issue leaders… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Military Assistance Funding for Indonesia.  (2004, December 19).  Retrieved August 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/military-assistance-funding-indonesia/169506

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"Military Assistance Funding for Indonesia."  Essaytown.com.  December 19, 2004.  Accessed August 25, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/military-assistance-funding-indonesia/169506.