New book reveals CIA role in consolidation of Suharto's New Order regime
Kompas - January 22, 2011
Jakarta -- The US Central Intelligence Agency very much dominated the initialconsolidation of the New Order regime of former President Suharto. USinternational relations historian from Princeton University, Bradley R Simpson,says that the succession of laws enacted by President Suharto was drafted withstrong influence from the US.
"As an example is the case of Law Number 1/1967 on Foreign Capital Investment. Asuccession of laws and the presence of Freeport in Papua were the initial stepsin US government intervention at the time in the Suharto regime", said Simpson,who has recently launched a book published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama titled"Economists with Guns: The United States, the CIA and the Emergence of theAuthoritarian New Order Regime".
The White House and the CIA played an extremely important role in efforts toreschedule Indonesia's debt after the Indonesian economy during earlier periodof former President Sukarno suffered hyperinflation and problems obtainingforeign exchange.
In the initial period of the Suharto administration US intelligence greatlyassisted the military dominated regime. Although there were also concerns a toolarge military organisation in Indonesia could be counterproductive to USinterests. It was because of this that it was only in the 1970s that the US wasprepared to provide primary defense equipment weaponry. In the initial period of Suharto's reign, the military assistance provided waslargely in the form of training and citizenship activities that were beneficialto society. The US pushed the Indonesian military (TNI, then ABRI) to entersociety and become involved in business activities.
Simpson conducted research for the book for more than 10 years in order uncovernew evidence on the New Order regime's dependency on US aid for the sake ofobtaining financial assistance that was used to consolidate the regime.
The research material came from US and British archives that have beendeclassified or are open to the public. Simpson insists that the US and the CIAwere not involved in the September Thirty Movement/Indonesian Communist Party(G30S/PKI) affair. Although following the affair, the White House and Britainapproved of the eradication of the PKI down to its roots, which ended in the
mass slaughter between 1966 and 1970. (ONG)