Australian Foreign and Defense Policy in the Wake of the by Peter Chalk

By Peter Chalk

This publication examines key advancements resulting in the deployment of the overseas Peacekeeping strength for East Timor and assesses the impression of this intervention on Canberra's destiny protection, protection and international coverage making plans.

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Additional resources for Australian Foreign and Defense Policy in the Wake of the 1999 2000 East Timor Intervention

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The sizable East Timorese refugee community in Australia, which currently numbers around 20,000, has further complicated the situation. 2 In so doing, they have also been instrumental in mobilizing and politicizing several public interest and lobbying groups, providing a domestic context that no Australian government has been able to ignore (Monk, 2000b, and Barton, 2000). However, for the most part, the cause of East Timorese self-determination (and, arguably human rights) has been sacrificed for the sake of maintaining the wider strategic partnership with Indonesia, which is itself seen as critical to the success of the general push into Southeast Asia (Cotton, 2000a, p.

As John McCredie, minister in the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, explicitly observed in a letter written to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs in May 1974, Indonesian absorption of Timor makes geopolitical sense. Any other long-term solution would be potentially disruptive of both Indonesia and the region. Its [absorption] would help confirm our seabed agreement with Indonesia. It should induce a greater readiness on [Jakarta’s] part to discuss Indonesia’s 21 ocean policy. In 1979, Australia granted de jure recognition to the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.

163; McDougall, 1998, p. 204). THE NEW ORDER PERIOD: 1965–1988 The emergence of the New Order government marked a watershed in Australian-Indonesian relations. Suharto quickly embarked on a “regional good neighbor policy” to correct the poor international image Jakarta had fostered in the twilight years of Sukarno’s rule. The new president also played an instrumental role in the formation of ASEAN, investing considerable diplomatic capital in the new regional body (Walters, 1997, p. 164). These initiatives helped to offset Australian concerns about a destabilizing Indonesian agenda, providing the basis for a rapprochement between the two countries.

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