Jakarta Knows Best: US Defense Policies and Security Cooperation in 1950s Indonesia

This volume explores U.S. defense policies and security cooperation activities and agreements between the United States and Indonesia from 1950 to 1959, the first decade of Indonesia’s independence. It assesses the implementation and value of U.S. military assistance and training programs and the way defense policies influenced and contributed to both the development of the Indonesian military and broader U.S. foreign policy goals. This thesis argues defense policymakers in Washington, as well as attachés and senior commanders in the region, correctly assessed the importance of the Indonesian military to U.S. national objectives. This focus led to the successful implementation of defense policies throughout the decade and solidified the military to military relationship. This enabled the U.S. to salvage the broader bilateral relationship nearly destroyed by ambiguous policies which supported both sides in a civil war inflamed by the CIA and State Department, who spearheaded a confrontational approach to Indonesia during the period. It concludes by arguing the very success of engagement-based defense policies made the U.S. military the primary vehicle through which foreign policy in Indonesia was implemented by the end of the decade.   Purchase this Volume