October 24, 2004

WHAT THE BALI BOMBERS WROUGHT:

Jakarta opens its doors on security (Mark Forbes, October 25, 2004, The Age)

The new Indonesian administration has opened the door to a security treaty with Australia and raised the prospect of unprecedented integration into the region.

In Indonesia's first response to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer tentatively floating a broad security pact a week ago, his counterpart, Hassan Wirayuda, has backed enhancing relations and said a security treaty would be important for strengthening ties.

Speaking exclusively to The Age, Mr Wirayuda also urged Australia to adopt a broader Association of South-East Asian Nations treaty of friendship and co-operation, suggesting Australia could become a full dialogue partner of ASEAN and possibly even join the prestigious ASEAN+3 grouping.

The comments are a significant breakthrough for Canberra's renewed push into Asia. They show a remarkable resurrection of the relationship with Indonesia following the 1999 East Timor crisis.


Every time a bomb goes off (outside Spain) we win.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2004 6:22 PM
Comments

Indonesia, which has territorial designs on Australia, cannot be trusted.

Posted by: Bart at October 25, 2004 7:02 AM

Yeah, Indonesia is suddenly going to be able to muscle Australia.
Not.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 26, 2004 7:01 AM

Indonesia: population 220 million
Australia: population 20 million

Indonesia: active troops 297,000
Australia: active troops 50,920

Keep in mind that under the Labour government, a bill effectively disarming most Australians of their home weapons was passed. It is not clear to me whether the current Liberal majority in the Senate will enable this to be repealed. However, it certainly makes any Maquis-style resistance much more difficult.

Posted by: Bart at October 26, 2004 10:57 AM

The Indonesians are not the Fremen. They are not going to sneak up and overwhelm anyone, no matter the numbers.

Think China and Taiwan, except that the Indonesian Navy probably consists of speedboats whose claim to fame is piracy in the Straits of Malacca.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 26, 2004 11:01 AM
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