26 January 2011

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 initial consolidation of the New Order regime of former President Suharto. US international relations historian from Princeton University, Bradley R Simpson, says that the succession of laws enacted by President Suharto was drafted with strong influence from the US.

"As an example is the case of Law Number 1/1967 on Foreign Capital Investment. A succession of laws and the presence of Freeport in Papua were the initial steps in 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 the Authoritarian New Order Regime".

The White House and the CIA played an extremely important role in efforts to reschedule Indonesia's debt after the Indonesian economy during earlier period of former President Sukarno suffered hyperinflation and problems obtaining foreign exchange.

In the initial period of the Suharto administration US intelligence greatly assisted the military dominated regime. Although there were also concerns a too large military organisation in Indonesia could be counterproductive to US interests. It was because of this that it was only in the 1970s that the US was prepared to provide primary defense equipment weaponry.

In the initial period of Suharto's reign, the military assistance provided was largely in the form of training and citizenship activities that were beneficial to society. The US pushed the Indonesian military (TNI, then ABRI) to enter society and become involved in business activities.

Simpson conducted research for the book for more than 10 years in order uncover new evidence on the New Order regime's dependency on US aid for the sake of obtaining financial assistance that was used to consolidate the regime.

The research material came from US and British archives that have been declassified or are open to the public. Simpson insists that the US and the CIA were not involved in the September Thirty Movement/Indonesian Communist Party (G30S/PKI) affair. Although following the affair, the White House and Britain approved of the eradication of the PKI down to its roots, which ended in the 
mass slaughter between 1966 and 1970. (ONG)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

No comments: