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Cablegate: The U.S. Role in Indonesia's Democratic

VZCZCXRO3290
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2316/01 3580952
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 230952Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1060
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5763
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 3444
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 1530
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 1517
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 2539
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5263
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2884
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 3364
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 3192
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 1365
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 002316

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR D, P, EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS
DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO TRANSITION TEAM
STATE FOR USAID ADMINISTRATOR FORE
NSC FOR E. PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KDEM ECON ID
SUBJECT: THE U.S. ROLE IN INDONESIA'S DEMOCRATIC
TRANSFORMATION

REF: A. JAKARTA 2279
B. JAKARTA 2644

JAKARTA 00002316 001.2 OF 003


1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified; please
handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Indonesia has a great story to tell.
This country's ten-year transformation from authoritarianism
to democracy was Indonesia's decision and is Indonesia's
success. Likewise, the Indonesian government's strategic
decision to end communal and separatist conflicts and to
fight terrorism has succeeded beyond anyone's expectations.
Although these are primarily Indonesian successes, U.S.
policy and assistance during the last eight years played a
major part in this success story. President Bush's three
bilateral summits with Indonesia's leaders in 2004, 2005 and
2006 were cornerstones in the success of this cooperation.
These achievements have created an opportunity to advance our
interests here by launching talks on a possible strategic
partnership. END SUMMARY.

INDONESIA'S TRANSFORMATION

3. (SBU) Since 1998, Indonesia has rejected
military-dominated authoritarianism to become a democracy
that the NGO Freedom House calls the freest in Southeast
Asia. The decisions and actions undertaken in this
extraordinary transformation were driven largely by internal
events here, not external pressure or finger-wagging. The
same can be said for the major turn-around in the security
situation since the 2002 Bali bombing, which prompted the GOI
to finally acknowledge its terrorism problem and make the
strategic decision to combat it aggressively.

4. (SBU) The United States has helped Indonesia make this
transformation. U.S. policies and assistance have proven
vital in supporting the security sector, reforming the
government, and combating corruption. Bilateral summit
meetings between President Bush and former President Megawati
and current President Yudhoyono launched important elements
of this bilateral cooperation. The 2004 Bush-Megawati summit
in Bali kicked off the President's Education Initiative that
provided $157 million to transform Indonesia's basic
education curriculum, among other things to foster critical
thinking skills. In 2005, after Yudhoyono met the President
in Washington, the Bush Administration made the crucial
decision to restore bilateral military-to-military ties by
lifting the 13-year sanction on security assistance. In
2006, when President Bush met Yudhoyono in Bogor, the two
Presidents jointly reiterated their commitment for broad
bilateral cooperation in the areas of security, democracy,
good governance, education, health, disaster relief, trade
and investment.

HOW WE HAVE HELPED

5. (SBU) In a Washington speech last month, President
Yudhoyono noted the success of bilateral relations under
President Bush and called for a strategic partnership with
the United States, particularly in the areas of climate
change, food security, energy security and in combating the
global financial crisis. Ref A outlines President
Yudhoyono's remarks. He specifically thanked the Bush
Administration for the end of the arms embargo, the lifting
of the travel warning, cooperation with the police,
prosecutors, tsunami relief, the Education Initiative,
support for the Coral Triangle Initiative and increased trade

JAKARTA 00002316 002.2 OF 003


and investment. President Yudhoyono also thanked President
Bush for inviting him to participate in the G-20 financial
summit, which Indonesians interpret as a symbol that
Indonesia has arrived as an important global player.

6. (SBU) The core of our contribution to Indonesia's
transformation has been in the area of security, both
military-to-military relations and cooperation with the
Indonesian National Police (INP). Ending the embargo in 2005
was the critical first step. However, the U.S. has done much
more to promote military and police reform, increase security
and combat terrorism. These security sector successes
culminated in Washington's decision in April 2008 to lift the
eight-year old travel warning on Indonesia, which reflected
the improved security climate here.

7. (SBU) Reform of Indonesia's military (TNI) has been at
the top of our bilateral agenda. The Indonesian government
made important decisions to separate the military and police,
get the military out of politics and put the military under
civilian control. The national police similarly are being
transformed from a force that protected the state under an
authoritarian system to a force that protects the people in a
democracy. The goal of all of our security assistance, IMET,
military-to-military engagement, and INL-funded police
cooperation implemented by the Department of Justice has been
to professionalize security forces here and to cement reforms
initiated by the government of Indonesia and promoted by
President Yudhoyono.

8. (SBU) Our newest area of success is in counter-narcotics
cooperation. DEA and JIATF-West in Honolulu have done great
work with the Indonesian anti-narcotics police (BNN), again
with the goal of professionalization and regional
cooperation. The culmination of this success from our
perspective was BNN's active cooperation last month turning
over Haji Juma Khan--reputed to be one of Afghanistan's
biggest heroin traffickers--to the U.S. for prosecution.

9. (SBU) A pro-active public diplomacy effort has helped the
relationship as well. An expanded Fulbright program, YES
high school exchanges, an extensive International Visitors
Program, ACCESS English teaching programs, more university
linkages, and Embassy outreach activities, have fostered
closer people-to-people ties and more mutual understanding.
In part, these efforts have helped improve Indonesian's
overall perception of the U.S.

GOVERNANCE AND THE RULE OF LAW

10. (SBU) President Yudhoyono also welcomed the decision
last week to declare Indonesia's eligibility for a Millennium
Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact. Our work during the
on-going two year $55 million threshold program has focused
on governance, rule of law and health. The next challenge
will be to work with the Indonesian government to use the
compact program to push Indonesia to the next level in terms
of economic openness, job creation, and poverty alleviation.
Nothing will do more to solidify Indonesia's democratic
reforms than economic success for the average Indonesian.

11. (SBU) The positive MCC decision builds on a decade of
USAID, INL and S/CT programs in the areas of basic human
needs, rule of law and human rights, education, environment
and economic growth. This foreign assistance package of
about $180 million per year is the largest in East Asia and,
while modest on a per capita basis, has effectively helped

JAKARTA 00002316 003.2 OF 003


the Indonesian government build capacity and spread reforms.

NEXT STEPS

12. (SBU) The Mission has recommended that Washington seize
the current opportunity to build on this solid foundation and
launch talks with the government of Indonesia to develop a
bilateral strategic partnership. We are in a very favorable
position with this strategic country of 245 million people,
in large part due to the decisions and policies of the Bush
Administration.

HUME

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