Resources: Books & Dissertations (r)

Date: Sat Nov 18 1995 - 10:16:00 EST

From: John MacDougall <>


Book Title : Stop Perdagangan Senjata; Perspektif Eropa Tentang
Perdagangan Senjata Ke Sebuah Rezim Militer
Language : Indonesian (translation)

Original Title : Stop Arming Indonesia: A European Perspective On
                 Arms Trade to A Military Regime

Editor : Martin Broek
Publisher : PIPHAM (Center for Human Rights Information and
                 -MAK (Anti-Violence Society)
                 -ENAAT (European Network Against Arms Trade)

Total Pages : 93 pp.
Individual Price: $5.00
Institutional Price: $10.00
price + shipping, terms: intl money order or cash
(rupiah price available for domestic orders)

Place orders with PIPHAM, PO Box 6865 JKPRS Jakarta 10570
fax: 62-21-797-0742
tel: 62-21-801-1982

        Anti-Violence Campaign

        What happens when the military has political power and pervades
into almost all sectors in the life of society? Violence and human rights
abuses. In such a system human rights abuses by the army often happen
because they know they will not be held accountable. This is the primary
reason which underlies the campaign to stop the arms trade, in addition to
international conflict itself.

        This book publishes an analysis from a group of individuals
challenging the arms trade and is divided into two parts. The first is
about conflict in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, not only internal
conflict but also about outside interests. The second anylizes the profile
of arms exporting countries.

        This history of the Indonesian army, starting with its formation up
into its involvement in politics, is explained Welmoed Koekebakker. The
Indonesian Army, formed on 5 October 1945, cooperated with civilian
residents using geurilla tactics to oppose the Dutch who were trying to
re-take colonial authority violently, after Indonesian independence was
proclaimed on 17 August 1945. This experience during the revolution led to
a kind of autonomous growth, so there was no clear division between
political and military duties. In the end, the colonial war provides an
historical clarification for the popularity of the armed forces today.

        In the 1950s, civilian authorities were more powerful, but this led
to a crisis of leadership. Liberal democracy, in the eyes of the armed
forces, was considered a failure. Guided Democracy, with which it was
replaced in 1959, gave wider powers to the president and was initially
supported by the military. Thereafter, the military became a 'competitor'
for political power. The coup d' etat of 30 September 1965, which was
blamed on the PKI and ended up with a victory for the military, ended the
Soekarno administration and began with Soeharto's rise to power and the New
Order era.

        The "dual-function" doctrine of ABRI (the Indonesian armed forces)
in the New Order era legitimates the ubiquitous presence of the army.
Nevertheless, recent developments indicate symptoms of antongonism between
civilians and the military. A number of military leaders supporting
military violence have distanced themselves. What does this mean for the
promotion of human rights in Indonesia? The answer is still unclear. The
conflict surrounding the purchase of 39 warships from former East Germany
demonstrates that repression does not always refer to the army. In other
words, techocrats and those who are of a more moderate line do not
necessarily have a cleaner record.

        For fighters for human rights in Indonesia, there is only a slim
difference between elite groups competeing for political victory. Their
antagonism doesn't offer any prospects at all for the strength of
democratic power, writes Koekebakker.
        At the same time, the contribution of Martin Broek--an activist
from AMOK (Anti-Militarist Research Collective)--in another part of the
book, explains the conflicts happening in Southeast Asia. Geo-strategy and
the economy become his prime causal factors. Therefore, control of sea
lanes is all- important. A number of countries in this area are
strengthening their defences. There is an arms aquisitions program which
aims to guarantee the security of communications lines and protect
inter-regional and global trade. Nevertheless, this doesn't foreclose the
possibility that defensive weapons will be used offesively.
        It is interesting to note the statement of the scholar Amitav
Acharya in a conference, quoted in Broek, that the arms race in Southeast
Asia is actually a race between arms sellers rather than importers.
        In the same volume, Ernst Guicher (BUKO), Niek van Essen, Archadi
Oliveres (SPAS), Thomas Gass (CAAT), and Belkacem Elomari, convey data on
the arms trade from several arms exporting countries selling to Indonesia.

                                          (Publications Division, PIPHAM)