[ETAN-key] ETAN Rejects Added Aid for Indonesian Military
John M Miller
fbp at igc.org
Mon Feb 27 13:19:42 PST 2006
Rights Group Rejects Added Aid for Indonesian Military
ETAN Responds to Bush Administrations Waiver Justification
For Immediate Release
Contact: John M. Miller, 718-596-7668;
917-690-4391 (cell) Karen Orenstein, 202-544-6911
February 27, 2006 - The East Timor and Indonesia
Action Network (ETAN) today urged Congress to
reject the Bush administration's request for
increased Foreign Military Financing (FMF) funds
for Indonesia. The group said Congress should
zero out the greater than six-fold increase and
re-impose conditions on military assistance to
Indonesia. The request is part of the
administration's proposed budget for 2007.
"Arming the military is not the way to promote
democracy and human rights in Indonesia," said
Karen Orenstein, National Coordinator of ETAN.
"Congress should zero out the Bush
administration's unwarranted gift to Indonesia's unreformed military."
"Last November, the Secretary of State recklessly
waived restrictions on U.S. military assistance
to Indonesia, abandoning the best U.S. leverage
to press for genuine reform," continued
Orenstein. "Congress should reject this loophole
as it considers the 2007 appropriations bill."
ETAN today published a detailed analysis of the
administration's arguments for enacting the
waiver, as contained in a Memorandum of
Justification produced by the State Department
"The State Department's memo is full of
misleading and irrelevant arguments. It fails to
make the case that the waiver is in the national
security interest of the U.S., as required by
law," said Orenstein. "The waiver undeniably
undermines efforts to promote justice for human
rights crimes in East Timor and real reform in Indonesia."
The memo pledges that,
the quality and quantity
of our assistance will continue to be guided by
progress on democratic reform and accountability,
and carefully calibrated to promote these outcomes.
However, no specific calibrated benchmarks
against which such progress is to be measured
are included in the memo. State Department
officials have indicated that no such benchmarks
had been prepared, nor were any envisioned. The
Congressional conditions that were waived,
however, did provide such benchmarks, according to ETANs analysis.
How does a large increase in funding for the
Indonesian military represent a carefully
calibrated response to progress in reform?
Impunity for serious human rights violations,
including crimes against humanity, still reins
supreme in Indonesia. The situation on the ground
hasnt changed since the November waiver, said Orenstein.
FMF provides grants and loans to governments to
buy U.S. military weapons, equipment, services, and training.
In FY06, the administration plans to spend an
estimated $990,000 in FMF funds. For FY07, the
administration has asked for $6.5 million.
Proposed spending on IMET, a military training
program, would grow from nearly $800,000 to $1.285 million.
In 2005, the administration chose to restart
multiple military programs for Indonesia. Full
IMET for Indonesia resumed for the first time
since 1992. Last May, the administration resumed
non-lethal Foreign Military Sales. Extensive
counter-terrorism programs, in place for several
years, continued to expand. The U.S. government
has provided tens of millions of dollars for the
Indonesian police, and the military receives the
greatest share of the Pentagon's Regional Defense
Counterterrorism Fellowship Program.
On November 22, only two days after the FY 2006
Foreign Operations Appropriations Act became law,
the State Department waived conditions
restricting FMF and defense exports to Indonesia.
Military assistance to Indonesia is now available
without Congressional restrictions for that
country for the first time in more than a decade.
The conditions abandoned by the administration
include prosecution of those responsible for
human rights violations in East Timor and
elsewhere and implementation of reforms to
enhance civilian control of the Indonesian military.
ETAN advocates for democracy, justice and human
rights for East Timor and Indonesia. ETAN calls
for an international tribunal to prosecute crimes
against humanity committed in East Timor from
1975 to 1999 and for restrictions on U.S.
military assistance to Indonesia until there is
genuine reform of its security forces. For
additional background, see www.etan.org.
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John M. Miller Internet: fbp at igc.org
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network
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