Indonesia's Transformation and the Stability of Southeast by Anger Rabasa, Peter Chalk

By Anger Rabasa, Peter Chalk

Indonesia, the world's fourth so much populous kingdom, is present process a profound transformation that can result in various results, from the consolidation of democracy to come back to authoritarianism or army rule, to radical Islamic rule, or to violent disintegration. The stakes are excessive, for Indonesia is the foremost to Southeast Asian safety. The authors research the developments and dynamics which are using Indonesia's transformation, define attainable strategic futures and their implications for local balance, and determine innovations the USA may well pursue within the severe problem of influencing Indonesia's destiny direction.

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Educated academic descendant of the Sultans of Aceh who acted as the Aceh “ambassador” to the United Nations during the Darul Islam rebellion, established the organization in 1976. Although di Tiro remains the symbolic leader of GAM, he has lived in exile in Sweden since 1980, leaving responsibility for the day-to-day running of the group to Abdullah Syafei’i Dimatang, a veteran guerrilla fighter for 23 years. Initially, GAM’s operational visibility was minimal, the group suffering from a lack of active popular support and limited resources.

One explanation posits that the High Command was unable to control the behavior of the troops in the field. The then Armed Forces Commander, General Wiranto, appeared to support this theory when he blamed “psychological factors” for the debacle. This suggested that the Indonesian military on East Timor, which included many East Timorese troops, were so committed to keeping the province that they were beyond the control of the High Command. Another theory involves a deliberate conspiracy by the High Command to subvert the result of the referendum and keep East Timor in Indonesia, or more plausibly, partition East Timor, with the pro-Indonesian forces keeping the more economically viable areas adjacent to the West Timor border.

5 While most Acehnese remained uninterested in outright independence, the underlying sense of dissatisfaction in the province was exploited by a group of hard-line separatists to justify a general call to arms. -educated academic descendant of the Sultans of Aceh who acted as the Aceh “ambassador” to the United Nations during the Darul Islam rebellion, established the organization in 1976. Although di Tiro remains the symbolic leader of GAM, he has lived in exile in Sweden since 1980, leaving responsibility for the day-to-day running of the group to Abdullah Syafei’i Dimatang, a veteran guerrilla fighter for 23 years.

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