By Peter Chalk
This e-book examines key advancements resulting in the deployment of the overseas Peacekeeping strength for East Timor and assesses the effect of this intervention on Canberra's destiny safety, protection and international coverage making plans.
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Extra resources for Australian Foreign and Defense Policy in the Wake of the 1999 2000 East Timor Intervention
Australia’s Foreign Relations with Indonesia 23 what and whom we believe to be right may on occasions prove incompatible. If they do, the latter must prevail and we shall find ourselves set on a collision course” (Barwick, 1964). Unlike the situation in Irian Jaya, Canberra had the support of the United States and United Kingdom, something that gave the threat added credence. Ironically it was a domestic event in Indonesia that helped to prevent a major clash from occurring between Canberra and Jakarta.
Even erstwhile allies such as Thailand dismissed Howard’s alleged statement as “inappropriate” and at odds with the normative realities of a region in which both memories of European colonialism and preferences for consensual and nonintrusive modes of interstate diplomacy remained particularly strong (Milner, 2000, p. 179; “Howard Still Under Fire in Asia over Regional Policy,” 1999; “Australia Must Know Its Place,” 2000; “East Timor Crisis Heralds Change in ASEAN and Regional Power Struggles,” 1999; “Anger in Asia as Australia Searches for New Regional Role,” 1999; “Asian Media Criticizes Australia’s Role in East Timor,” 1999).
Many journalists have claimed that the murders were directly carried out by Indonesian commandos during a covert mission (Operasi Flamboyant) to capture key towns in the East/West Timor border regions (Ball and McDonald, 2000, p. 30; East Timor: Report of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade 1 References Committee, 1999, p. 133; Cotton, 2000a, p. 3). The media’s focus on the situation has since been sustained by the increasingly questionable human rights record of the Indonesian military in the province, their racially biased attitudes toward the eastern Melanesian peoples, and the army’s documented ______________ 1 Australian journalists have repeatedly claimed that Prime Minister Gough Whitlam had direct knowledge of the killings but chose to suppress the incident for the sake of preserving relations with Jakarta.