|INTERNATIONAL APPEAL TO END MILITARY SUPPORT FOR INDONESIA
Most US weapons sales to Indonesia have now been curtailed, thanks to the work of ETAN and other activists. However, other countries, less accountable to their publics, are stepping in to fill the void. Stopping US weapons sales sends a strong message to Jakarta because US political support (symbolized by US weapons and training) is crucial. But the weapons flow continues, mostly from Europe. To build on our successes here, ETAN is encouraging activists in Indonesia's diversifying global arsenal.
According to a recent report from the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Indonesia is both increasing its military budget (a 40% increase from 1994 to 1995 alone, with weapons imports more than tripling), and diversifying its sources of weapons. Supplier statistics are given for three-year periods: although the US delivered more than half of Indonesia's $170 million worth of weapons received in 1992-4, by 1993-5, the US share had dropped to 23%, surpassed by Germany and the UK. Delivery statistics lag new orders by several years, but the trend is continuing, with Russia, France and others increasing their share.
ACDA figures for weapons deliveries to Indonesia by supplier country:
According to recent State and Pentagon reports to Congress, the US delivered $11 million in weapons to Indonesia under the FMS (Foreign Military Sales) program in fiscal year 1996. Licenses issued that year for new DCS (Direct Commercial Sales) totaled $212 million, more than half of which is one sale of six dual-use satellites. Comparison of figures from different sources and categories is problematic, but the DCS licenses, for deliveries in future years, show that the US continues to be a major source of military hardware to Jakarta. And, although IMET training aid has stopped, US Green Berets and Marines are still training Indonesian Special Forces troops.
To kick off the international campaign, activists at the recent Oporto conference on East Timor drafted a declaration to oppose military support for the Suharto regime, which was signed by more than forty conference participants. In September, Alyn Ware brought the Declaration to the International Peace Bureau conference in Moscow, where it was translated into Russian and signed by peace movement leaders from a dozen countries. ETAN and IPB will continue to circulate the declaration, which we hope will become a project of the International Federation for East Timor (IFET).
At ETAN's 1997 Steering Committee in Madison, we formalized our International Coordination and Outreach Committee, which will continue and expand our work with activists worldwide to formulate anti-military, economic and legislative strategies. If you are interested in being involved in this work, contact Charlie Scheiner at the ETAN national office.