Subject: Rep. Langevin of Armed Services to Secs. Rumsfeld and Rice on military aid to Indonesia

May 24, 2006

The Honorable Donald H. Rumsfeld Secretary Department of Defense The Pentagon Washington, DC 20301-1155

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I recently learned that on May 8, President Bush authorized the Department of Defense to provide military assistance to Indonesia under the authority granted in Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 109-163). As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I ask your assistance in ascertaining the need for U.S. military assistance to Indonesia and explaining how any such aid program would be implemented.

As you know, in H.R. 1815, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, Congress granted the Department of Defense greater authority to train foreign military forces in order to enhance their counterterrorism capabilities. However, to ensure that such training is consistent with U.S. values and foreign policy objectives, the conference report to H.R. 1815 specifically noted that the program "shall promote observance of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for legitimate civilian authority."

I understand the Administration's interest in helping Indonesia improve its counterterrorism capabilities. As the most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia is an important strategic partner for the U.S. in the Global War on Terrorism and faces significant threats from radical terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah. However, the Indonesian military has also made little progress in demonstrating acceptance of civilian control and respect for human rights. According to the State Department's 2005 Country Report on Human Rights Practices, Indonesia's security forces "continued to commit unlawful killings of rebels, suspected rebels, and civilians in areas of separatist activity [...]. There was evidence that the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) considered anyone killed by its forces in conflict areas to be an armed rebel. The government largely failed to hold soldiers and police accountable for such killings and other serious human rights abuses in Aceh and Papua." Congress demonstrated its concern with the actions of TNI by including language in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 109-102) to restrict Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance to Indonesia; however, the Administration invoked its authority to waive the restrictions only two days after the bill was signed into law.

As you prepare to implement President Bush's order, I respectfully request that you explain how U.S. military assistance to Indonesia will comply with the Congressional directive to promote human rights and respect for civilian authority. Further, I ask that you furnish relevant information regarding the specific types of military assistance the U.S. will provide to TNI, which components of TNI will receive aid, and how the program will be administered. Because the Department of State will also be involved in the development of this initiative, I have sent a similar letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her views.

I thank you for your consideration of this request and look forward to your response. Sincerely,

James R. Langevin Member of Congress

cc: The Honorable Duncan Hunter, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee

The Honorable Ike Skelton, Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee

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The Honorable Condoleezza Rice Secretary Department of State 2201 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

I recently learned that on May 8, President Bush authorized the Department of Defense to provide military assistance to Indonesia under the authority granted in Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 109-163). As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I ask your assistance in ascertaining the need for U.S. military assistance to Indonesia and explaining how any such aid program would be implemented.

As you know, in H.R. 1815, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2006, Congress granted the Department of Defense greater authority to train foreign military forces in order to enhance their counterterrorism capabilities. However, to ensure that such training is consistent with U.S. values and foreign policy objectives, the conference report to H.R. 1815 specifically noted that the program "shall promote observance of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for legitimate civilian authority."

I understand the Administration's interest in helping Indonesia improve its counterterrorism capabilities. As the most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia is an important strategic partner for the U.S. in the Global War on Terrorism and faces significant threats from radical terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah. However, the Indonesian military has also made little progress in demonstrating acceptance of civilian control and respect for human rights. According to the State Department's 2005 Country Report on Human Rights Practices, Indonesia's security forces "continued to commit unlawful killings of rebels, suspected rebels, and civilians in areas of separatist activity [... J. There was evidence that the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) considered anyone killed by its forces in conflict areas to be an armed rebel. The government largely failed to hold soldiers and police accountable for such killings and other serious human rights abuses in Aceh and Papua." Congress demonstrated its concern with the actions of TNI by including language in the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 109-102) to restrict Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance to Indonesia; however, the Administration invoked its authority to waive the restrictions only two days after the bill was signed into law.

As you prepare to implement President Bush's order, I respectfully request that you explain how U.S. military assistance to Indonesia will comply with the Congressional directive to promote human rights and respect for civilian authority. Further, ! ask that you furnish relevant information regarding the specific types of military assistance the U.S. will provide to TN!, which components of TNI will receive aid, and how the program will be administered. Because the Department of Defense will also be involved in the development of this initiative, I have sent a similar letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for his views.

I thank you for your consideration of this request and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

James R. Langevin Member of Congress


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