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Old 03-17-2010   #1
Kevin23
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Default Indonesia and small wars in Southeast Asia-Post WWII?

Recently I've become interested in Indonesia and its role in small wars, particularly in the Post-Second World War. Which ranges from the nationís independence through the conflicts of the Sukarno/ Suharto years like the Aceh insurgency, and the Indonesian-Malaysian Confrontation after the latterís independence from Britain to the conflict in East Timor.

However beyond this, I was hoping to learn more about Indonesiaís involvement in small wars in the Post-WWII era? Aside from what Iíve read in David Kilcullenís book about the Aceh insurgency and the East Timor Conflict
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Old 03-17-2010   #2
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Kevin,

Not quite sure what specifically you're interested, but here are a few ideas (I will caveat it by saying that information in English on terrorism and conflict in Indonesia is fairly disaggregated compared with that of most other conflict countries):

- The first go-to source is the International Crisis Group. They are viewed as one of the leading experts in Indonesia on conflict and terrorism.
- Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict by Jacques Bertrand
- The Second Front by Kevin Conboy - provides an interesting overview of the history of political Islam in Indonesia
- Political Islam and Violence in Indonesia by Zach Abuza - details the different groups and their relationship in the many small wars in Indonesia (Abuza's interpretation differs somewhat from Sidney Jones at the ICG and others here)
- Reformasi by Kevin O'Rourke - good overview of politics in Indonesia post-Soeharto

Keep in mind when you are reading all of these that interpretations of the relationship between "small wars" and the larger war (as Kilcullen conceives it) differs greatly among experts in Indonesia and outside.

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-18-2010   #3
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Kevin23,

There are a handful of books on 'The Confrontation' between Indonesia and Malaysia - later backed up by her allies (UK, Aus & NZ). I cannot recall anything on this conflict from the Indonesian side, although it may appear in the US military journals.

Secondly, the current conflicts / insurgencies faced by Indonesia tend to be watched rather closely by the Australians, partly as the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are very active in the region. I suggest adding Leah's blog to your list:http://allthingsct.wordpress.com/

The East Timor conflict was well recorded, again mainly by the Australians, with a few articles in the UK, e.g. RUSI Journal, although the focus was on the UN involvement.

Hope that helps.
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Old 03-18-2010   #4
GI Zhou
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This is as agood a reference for Australai's involvement in Konfrotasi.

IAN MCNEILL. Series: OFFICIAL HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA'S INVOLVEMENT IN SOUTHEAST ASIAN CONFLICTS 1948-1975.

Secondly I have interviewed the Sarawak People's Guerilla's and have published the results if you are interested.
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Old 03-19-2010   #5
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Default British Military Archives in re: Indonesian Independence

If anybody could please forward information regarding the military archives in London with respect to British involvement in Indonesia immediately following WW II, I would be most grateful.

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 03-19-2010   #6
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Portrait of a Cold Warrior by Joseph B. Smith, a former CIA man, has some information on the 1950s-60s.
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Old 03-19-2010   #7
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Default Some clues

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffWolf View Post
If anybody could please forward information regarding the military archives in London with respect to British involvement in Indonesia immediately following WW II, I would be most grateful.

Thanks
Jeff
Jeff,

The UK military archives is not my subject and so these comments are that. Some military records are at the National Army Museum, in London (mainly military journals); the political and government papers are the old Public Records Office, now renamed the National Archives, at Kew, London and depending what you are looking for in other places, e.g. university library special holdings, with general's personal papers.

I know General Gracey and his Indian division left Saigon for Indonesia. In some reading the fighting around the port city, Surabaya was described as very hard.

Do the Official History series cover post-VJ activity?

There maybe items in the Imperial War Museum, London and the RAF / RN museums.

Are there any historians who specialise in this period?
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Old 03-20-2010   #8
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Default I think I may have found my own answer

This

http://www.amazon.com/British-Occupa...9058975&sr=8-2

appears to be spot-on for what I'm looking for; perhaps others may find it interesting and/or useful, too.

Incidentally, Pete23 and others, I hate to sink to such a low common denominator but the Wikipedia page on Indonesia's "konfrontasi" or "confrontation" with Malaysia seems fairly comprehensive with respect to its bibliography.

Also, I've read a fair amount of this - http://www.amazon.com/Indonesias-War...9059864&sr=8-2 - and first, I'm guessing that it's the best English-language source on the topic, and second, it seems a good example of open source intelligence, for those who are interested in the topic.

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 03-20-2010   #9
GI Zhou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffWolf View Post
This

http://www.amazon.com/British-Occupa...9058975&sr=8-2

appears to be spot-on for what I'm looking for; perhaps others may find it interesting and/or useful, too.

Incidentally, Pete23 and others, I hate to sink to such a low common denominator but the Wikipedia page on Indonesia's "konfrontasi" or "confrontation" with Malaysia seems fairly comprehensive with respect to its bibliography.

Also, I've read a fair amount of this - http://www.amazon.com/Indonesias-War...9059864&sr=8-2 - and first, I'm guessing that it's the best English-language source on the topic, and second, it seems a good example of open source intelligence, for those who are interested in the topic.

Thanks
Jeff
If you get to Kuching Sarawak visit the Police Museum on the island off China town as it has some excellent arifacts. if you contact me I can send you some material on Indonesia arming 'Communist' guerrillas in Sarawak. They were more freedom fighters in my opinion and I am no supporter of Communism.
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Old 09-15-2010   #10
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Default Once more

Hello,

I was hoping I could kindly tap the resources of SWJ once more, with a somewhat but not totally different request. If anyone knows of any Australian archival material, or locations where archives are located, regarding "Morotai Force," I would be grateful if he/she could post said information.

Thanks
Jeff
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Old 09-15-2010   #11
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Default I should have mentioned

I should have mentioned that I have already come across these three sources:

http://trove.nla.gov.au

http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/exp.../services.aspx

http://www.awm.gov.au/search/collections/

Thanks again
Jeff
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Old 09-16-2010   #12
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Kevin,
I'm in Indonesia now basically studying some of the same topics, currently trying to read the Official Indonesian Army's history of the Darul Islam rebellion in Aceh. I think Kilcullen does a good job highlighting why these conflicts are worth learning about, as many are highly instructive. My focus has been Aceh, and I have a lot of readings on it I can recommend. I concur with the recommendation to check out the ICG. Kirsten Schulze or Ed Aspinall are some of the best on the topic.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-04-2012 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Remove personal email
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Old 10-29-2012   #13
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Feet to the Fire, Subversion as Foreign Policy, and Permesta: Half a Rebellion, about the Permesta/PRRI rebellion in the late 1950s:http://www.amazon.com/Feet-Fire-Oper...et+to+the+Fire

Kopassus by Conboy also mentions Indonesia considering support for Cambodia against the Khmer Rouge in the early 1970s. They sent a fact-finding mission there and assessed the situation to be hopeless, and decided against participation:http://www.amazon.com/Kopassus-Insid...words=Kopassus

Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-04-2012 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Add links
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Old 11-04-2012   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiku View Post

Kopassus by Conboy also mentions Indonesia considering support for Cambodia against the Khmer Rouge in the early 1970s. They sent a fact-finding mission there and assessed the situation to be hopeless, and decided against participation.
Good read.......since there's little in the western publishing world from the Indonesian perspective.

I had no idea Indonesia had a few pers in Vietnam and a bunch in Cambodia for a bit until I read the book.....

And confirmed in person earlier this year having the chance to meet a bunch of Cambodian Army 911 SF Brigade members, a unit with quite close ties to Indonesian Kopassus to this day.

Indonesia has been a sponsor for training Cambodian Army since the late 60's I believe...and to this day have quite close ties.

3 who I met wore Indonesian Kopassus berets/badges as daily uniform wear having completed their training in Indonesia.

Conboy also has a book on Indonesian Intelligence that I have on Kindle..........

BUT have yet to crack open yet due to a huge pile of Afgan related material more relevant for me at the moment.

Voices From a Border War is also pretty good and recently published book from the NZ/Commonwealth side of the house:http://www.amazon.com/Voices-Border-.../dp/0646225030

Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-04-2012 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Add link
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Old 08-09-2013   #15
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Default Indonesia, a "domino stood"; and the Act of Killing

I'd suggest it's fair to say:

1. Indonesia was more important than Indochina (Vietnam) by an order or more of magnitude; and

2. What happened in Indonesia in 1965-1966 (extermination of the Indonesian Communist Party) was a material (if not the most important) factor in what happened to Southeast Asia after that.

See, this SWC post, They Never Fail To Hyperbolate .... , and its continuation; and Indonesian killings of 1965–66 (Wiki).

That leads to two questions in considering the Vietnam War's history, revisionist history, counter-revisionist history, revisionist-counter-revisionist history, etc. ad nauseum:

1. What (if any) causal effect did the actual US 1964-1965 Vietnam combat units intervention have with respect to the Indonesian killings of 1965–1966.

2. With respect to the sundry alternate COAs (counter-factual histories) offered for Vietnam at SWC and elsewhere (changing events during the period 1945-1965 would be most critical, but changed events after 1965 might also play), what would their effects have been on Indonesia in particular and Southeast Asia in general.

He or she who wants to revisit and revise history has some obligation to sketch the future altered by the pet revision - and consider higher order effects, albeit a difficult, wicked problem.

All of that has much to do with current affairs - the search for lessons learned in the aftermath of two failures in nation-building Iraq and Astan - whether also a general failure in Southwest Asia remains to be seen.

A second reason to look at the Indonesian killings of 1965–66 is to face up to the reality of a lot of killings - with the face up requiring us to take ourselves (in our minds) totally outside the kinder and gentler society in which most of us in the US live.

A recent documentary, The Act of Killing, presents the oral histories (and re-enactments) of over 40 of the 1965-1966 Indonesian killers. The DVD is listed on Amazon-UK as being available in Nov 2013 (region 2 only)

Indonesia- New documentary film on mass killings stirs memories (short trailer 2.5 min.)

101 East : Indonesia's Killing Fields (long trailer 25 min.)

Both interviews with the filmmaker Josh Oppenheimer are worth a look

Interview with The Act of Killing film maker: Joshua Oppenheimer (36 min.)

DP/30: The Act of Killing, documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer (42 min.)

Of obvious relevance to the just war theories (NB: plural usage) and command responsibility.

Regards

Mike

Last edited by jmm99; 08-10-2013 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 08-20-2013   #16
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There has been a few conflicts in Indonesia since WWII:

1) War of independence (1945-1949) -> Indonesia successfully defended its independence from 150,000 Dutch soldiers who seek to re-impose their rule. Casualties were around 20,000 Indonesians killed, 5000 Dutch killed, 1500 British killed (mostly Indian soldiers), as well as around 2000 Japanese killed (most Japs fought with the British but some Japs deserted to fight for Indonesia).

2) Darul Islam insurgency (1949-1965) -> Indonesia successully defeated Islamic rebels who seek to overthrow the govt and put in place an Islamic theocratic state. The Darul Islam insurgencies occured in West Java (1949-1962), South Sulawesi (1951-1965), Aceh (1953-1962), Central Java (1949-1957), and South Kalimantan (1951-1959). Imam of Darul Islam (Kartosuwirjo) was captured and executed in 1962. Casualties were 35,000 Indonesians killed (ie bloodier than war of independence).

3) Communist rebellion of 1948 -> Unsuccessul two-month attempt by PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) to grab power from Sukarno-Hatta during war of independence. The fighting was centred in Madiun in East Java. PKI chairman Musso was shot dead in 1948. Around 10,000 Indonesians killed, many Islamic clerics and govt officials massacred by PKI rebels.

4) APRA rebellion of 1950 -> short abortive rebellion in Bandung by Dutch-provoked federalists under Capt Westerling. Around 200 killed

5) RMS rebellion (1950-1962) -> failed attempt by ex-Dutch soldiers to establish independent Republic of South Maluku (RMS). The last RMS guerillas surrendered in 1962 and its president Soumokil was captured that year and later executed in 1966.

6) PRRI-Permesta rebellion (1958-1961) -> unsuccessful attempt by regional military commanders of West Sumatera (PRRI) and North Sulawesi (Permesta) to overthrow Jakarta government of Sukarno. The rebels was supported by CIA pilots, planes, mercenaries, money, and weaponry until a CIA B-25 bomber flying for the rebels was shot down and its American pilot (Allen Pope) captured. Casualties were around 20,000 rebels killed and 15,000 government soldiers killed.

7) Indonesian killings of 1965-1966 -> military-led backlash of nationalist and religious groups against G30S Movement who killed 6 top army generals, in what was considered as PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) plot to eliminate rivals to power. Although this is mostly one-sided slaughter, there was some communal fighting by PKI members in Central and East Java. Casualties were around 500,000 killed, 1.5 million jailed, and virtually the entire PKI membership slaughtered including its chairman Aidit (shot in Nov 1965) and its Politburo members were mostly killed while some was imprisoned for life. All members of G30S Movement captured and executed.

8) Communist insurgency in West Kalimantan (1967-1972) -> remnants of PKI and communist guerillas trained by Sukarno for Malaysian confrontation turned against new Suharto regime until crushed in 1972 when the communist leader Sofyan was shot dead.

9) East Timor conflict (1975-1999) -> Indonesia invaded East Timor to prevent leftist Fretilin from taking power there. Fretilin control over the hinterlands was broken by Indonesian military campaign of 1977-1978 when Fretilin president Nicolau Lobato was killed. Small-scale guerilla fighting continued until East Timor gained independence via referendum in 1999. Total casualties based on UN research were 19,000 violent deaths of East Timorese and 2000 Indonesians killed (mostly in the initial invasion stage)

10) First Aceh insurgency (1977-1982) -> unsuccessfull first incarnation of GAM separatists which was rather quickly destroyed by govt forces. Only around 200 killed and GAM leadership either killed or fled abroad.

11) Second Aceh insurgency (1989-1992) -> unsuccessful second incarnation of GAM separatists now funded and trained by Libya, which was also destroyed by govt forces with much brutality. Around 2,000 people killed.

12) Third Aceh insurgency (1999-2005) -> large-scale insurgency after fall of Suharto regime in 1998 caused instability at Jakarta central govt. Govt launched military campaign to respond to this insurgency in 2003, which aided by the great tsunami of 2004, ended the conflict whereby the rebels gave-up quest for independence and disarmed in exchange for wide-ranging autonomy. Around 10,000 rebels and civilians killed, as well as 800 Indonesian soldiers.

13) Maluku religious conflict (1999-2002) -> religious communal conflict between Muslims and Christians in the post-Suharto era which was ended by govt-brokered Malino Peace Accord of 2002. Around 5000 killed on both sides.

14) Poso religious conflict (1998-2001) -> religious communal conflict between Muslims and Christians in the post-Suharto era which was ened by govt-brokered Malino Peace Accord of 2001, although there were small outbreaks on the following 5 years or so. Around 1000 killed on both sides.

15) Papua conflict (1965-now) -> small-scale separatist conflict between disorganized and poorly-armed groups under common name OPM. The conflict has de-escalated from 1965 when there were several large bands of ex-Dutch militia roaming around the vast hinterland, while today only around 100 OPM remained active in Puncak Jaya and Mulia districts. Around 5000 rebels killed and around 500 Indonesian soldiers killed in the past 50 years.

Indonesia was also involved in one foreign conflict:

1) Malaysian confrontation (1963-1966) -> Indonesian military and Malaysian communists under order of Sukarno infilitrated into Malay Peninsula, Singapore, and North Borneo (Sabah & Sarawak) to foil establishment of Malaysia. They engaged in jungle warfare against British & Commonwealth soldiers deployed to protect Malaysia, until new leader Suharto ended the conflict in 1966. Casualties were 150 British & Commonwealth soldiers killed, 50 Malaysian soldiers killed, and 500 Indonesians killed. There was one Victoria Cross awarded for this conflict.

Last edited by ntut; 08-20-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 08-20-2013   #17
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Default More on the 'Confrontation'

Ntut,

First of all welcome aboard SWC. As you can see this topic arouses some interest and keeps on appearing.

One of your listed 'small wars' is the 'Malaysian Confrontation', although in the UK I'm sure it is called the 'Indonesian Confrontation' There is a relevant thread 'Borneo Special Branch', which has many links:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=8726

Cannot recall why, but the rebellion in Aceh "rang a bell" and there are a number of posts / sources in a larger thread 'Mainly terrorism in Indonesia: catch all':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=737
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Old 08-21-2013   #18
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Thank you for these previous links.

There is also one more conflict:

2) West Papua campaign (1961-1962) -> Successfull Indonesian campaign to grab Netherlands New Guinea into Indonesia. 3,000 Indonesian soldiers infiltrated into the territory to fight Dutch soldiers, and backed by USA and Soviet diplomatic pressure, Netherlands yielded the territory to UN in 1962 who then yielded the territory to Indonesia in 1963. Around 20 Dutch soldiers and 300 Indonesian soldiers killed (500 captured).
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Old 07-06-2014   #19
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Default Colonial atrocities explode myth of Dutch tolerance

A short report on a contentious issue in Holland; this sentence explains why:
Quote:
Both were charged with tarnishing the honour and good name of Dutch troops by comparing their actions to those of the Nazi SS.
Link:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...e-1439153.html
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Old 10-01-2015   #20
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Default A small war for some, but 500k dead isn't

The Indonesian Confrontation returns via the blog Defence in Depth, with a short article by the author of a 2012 book:http://defenceindepth.co/2015/10/01/the-act-of-killing/

It ends with:
Quote:
Thus, wars may be Ďsmallí in terms of the impact that they have on the British consciousness; but that doesnít mean that their impact on others is limited similarly. The end of Confrontation was accompanied by events that had a profound impact on Indonesia. In the end, perhaps the biggest winner wasnít Britain, but the Indonesian army.
The book, with no Amazon reviews and ouch expensive:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Confrontatio...+confrontation
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