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Cablegate: Codel Payne's Meeting with Minister of Defense

VZCZCXRO0032
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1892/01 1930123
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 120123Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5386
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0891
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 3356
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1577
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001892

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR PGOV PHUM ID
SUBJECT: CODEL PAYNE'S MEETING WITH MINISTER OF DEFENSE
JUWONO

REF: A. JAKARTA 1845 (CODEL MEETS SBY)
B. JAKARTA 1759 (CODEL SCENESETTER)

JAKARTA 00001892 001.2 OF 002


1. SUMMARY: Meeting in Jakarta on July 6, Congressmen
Donald Payne (D-NJ), David Dreier (R-CA) and James Moran
(D-VA) complimented Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono for
Indonesia's remarkable democratic progress. The Congressmen
voiced concern about the slow pace of military reform, lack
of accountability for past abuses, restrictions on access to
Papua, military business practices, and the recent killing of
four civilians in East Java by Indonesian Marines. Minister
Juwono cited Indonesia's low socio-economic status and, more
specifically, a lack of funding as the root cause of the
issues surrounding the Indonesian military. He expressed
appreciation for the Congressmen's praise of President
Yudhoyono's strong reform leadership, but agreed there was
still a long way to go. Asked about China, Juwono said
bilateral defense cooperation was limited to transport
vessels. END SUMMARY.

Military Reform

2. All three Congressmen praised Indonesia's reform progress
and pledged continued U.S. support. Congressmen Payne and
Moran noted that Juwono, as civilian head of the defense
establishment and a Fulbright scholar, was the right face for
Indonesia's military reform. Rep. Moran continued that when
Americans think of Indonesia they often still see images of
Sukarno and Suharto and they see Indonesia's military as
abusive and undemocratic. Rep. Moran urged Juwono to place
greater emphasis on the Navy and the Air Force, rather than
the Army, which is perceived as an "occupying force." The
American team asked about Juwono's plans to get the military
out of its business practices.

3. The Minister said that, according to the Interagency
Panel studying military businesses, the military's business
interests have dropped from 1500 to seven. While, by 2009,
the military will be out of profit-making businesses, Juwono
admitted that the military still needed cooperatives to meet
their resource needs. He concluded that the old days of
"security for money" are over. Juwono complained that it is
difficult for the newly established defense ministry as the
current budget is only $3.5 billion and he needed at least $8
billion to conduct proper operations and maintenance. The
overseas image of the Army as a violent occupation force is
no longer true and certainly it is not a policy of the
government. Maintaining an Air Force and Navy is expensive
and, as Indonesia sits atop the Ring of Fire, Juwono
maintains that the focus of the military is on Disaster
Relief, which requires a heavy manpower presence. The
Indonesian military is not so focused on meeting external
threats, he said, but rather on internal disaster relief - a
mission which helps it justify its funding.

Accountability

4. Rep. Moran praised President SBY and Minister Juwono for
their commitment to TNI reform, but wanted to raise several
issues. He criticized Indonesia's lack of accountability for
past abuses, citing East Timor, the recent killings in East
Java, the Munir case and the continued promotion of officers
with troubling human rights records. The Congressman
concluded that Indonesia needed at least one high visibility
human rights case against a military human rights abuser to
help maintain support in Washington and the Congress for IMET
and other security assistance for Indonesia.

5. Juwono replied that there have been cases of officers
penalized for human rights abuses, both by receiving four
year criminal sentences and having promotions significantly
delayed. He agreed with Congressman Moran's assessment that
Indonesia needed a high profile case, citing again the lack
of funding to thoroughly investigate cases. Asked about
possible FBI assistance, the Minister said the FBI was
helpful in the Timika case, which involved American victims,
but for local cases (like the East Java case) Indonesia must
rely on its own resources. Juwono claimed there is not a
lack of will by the Government of Indonesia, but rather
Indonesia lacks the proper funding. Turning to East Timor,
Juwono stated that President Xanana (Timor Leste) had agreed
to reconciliation through the Truth and Friendship Committee,
and scratched attempts to get full compensation from
Indonesia. On Munir, Jowono was quick to point out that the

JAKARTA 00001892 002.2 OF 002


agency rumored to be responsible (BIN) was not a military
organization but rather
a civilian intelligence agency.

Papua

6. When asked about the situation in Papua, Juwono said
Papua has been plagued by tribal wars and territorial
disputes since it was a Dutch colony. A military and police
presence there is important to maintain security. President
SBY has made great progress improving the situations in
distant places like Papua and Aceh by establishing dialogue
and providing resources. Juwono - again focusing on
socio-economics -- stated Indonesia is a poor country with
wide income disparity, and if people do not have a stake in
society they tend to turn to violence. He believes for
democracy to sustain itself a country needs a per capita GDP
of about $6000. For Indonesia with a GDP approaching $1500,
social harmony remains a constant challenge, the Minister
concluded.

China

7. Asked about China, Juwono stated Indonesia and China
share a "Strategic Partnership," adding that he would visit
China in September. Elaborating further, Juwono said this
bilateral cooperation was "nothing sinister" but rather was
centered on transportation assets for sea and air, which the
TNI needed for its disaster relief mission.

8. This cable has been cleared by CODEL Payne.
HUME

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