US threatened Indonesia with war during 1999 East Timor crisis

William Cohen

William Cohen

The Clinton Administration threatened to go to war with Indonesia in 1999, if Jakarta resisted an Australian-led plan to grant independence to what was then Indonesia’s province of East Timor. The revelations were made by former American and Australian military officials quoted in a new book titled The March of Patriots: The Struggle for Modern Australia. According to Pentagon official James Schear and Dr. Ashton Calvert, the late Director of the Australian Foreign Affairs Department, US Secretary of Defense William Cohen met with Indonesia’s President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie and Defense Minister General Wiranto, and told them that Washington would retaliate militarily if Jakarta contested the planned deployment of an Australian-led UN force in East Timor. The revelation may shed different light on the Clinton Administration’s perceived inaction in the face of repeated massacres of East Timorese by Indonesian government troops in 1999. The March of Patriots also reveals that the administration of Australian Prime Minister John Howard worked secretly for East Timor’s independence in 1999, despite its officially expressed preference for East Timor to remain part of Indonesia. The official policy was shared by the Australian Defense Department, which was apparently kept in the dark by the Howard Administration.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

4 Responses to US threatened Indonesia with war during 1999 East Timor crisis

  1. Damien Kingsbury says:

    Perhaps the Clinton administration also threatened a military retaliation, but we do know it threatened an economic boycott, including of the IMF, which was was triggered the withdrawal. As for Howard, his ‘scret support for East Timorese independence’ was so secret that no-one in his government knew about it, Foreign Affairs and the department of defence didn’t know about it, and the Indonesians and East Timorese didn’t know about it. It was so ‘secret’, in fact, that only he knew about it. Which is to say, that is the greatest post-event fabrication that has been published on the issue.

  2. Jaala says:

    If the US cared so much about what was happening in East Timor that they threatened war, then where the hell were the Americans when the Australian troops arrived? Sorry, the US did nothing. Tell it like it is.

  3. dyos says:

    sungguh suatu hal yg terasa menyakitkan ya ..makin lama asset bangsa ini dikikis terus baik dari dalam negeri maupun luar negeri…

    Tapi biasanya sesuatu yg DIHINA ” mungkin saja derajatnya LEBIH BAIK dimataNya..Amiin

  4. dyos says:

    Like to read article and see pictures here…keep posting ..Have great days always for you..

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