Cooperation, Friction, and Safeguarding: Australia and Indonesia’s Security Relationship

Harvard Asia Pacific Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 35-39, 2010

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/84

10 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2010

See all articles by Dale Stephens

Dale Stephens

Adelaide Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLAE)

Stefan Gruber

Wuhan University; The University of Sydney - Faculty of Law; Waseda University; Kyoto University - Hakubi Center for Advanced Research

Date Written: August 27, 2010

Abstract

Historically, the relationship between Australia and Indonesia has been particularly fluid with dichotomous elements of great harmony and tension, co-operation and competition, selfless commitment and tacit low-intensity armed confrontation. Despite many differences, they are close physical neighbors and the management of their relationship is recognized on both sides as a critical strategic imperative. Australia has been involved in several military operations in Southeast Asia and is one of the driving economic and political forces in the region while Indonesia’s sheer size makes it a major player. It is impossible for both countries to make significant strategic decisions without affecting each other’s interests. This article provides an overview on the many different episodes of the security relationship between both countries since the establishment of Indonesia as an independent country. It further explores the importance of strengthening that relationship, which is a process in which both parties have recently taken a significant step into the right direction with signing the Treaty of Lombok.

Keywords: Australia, Indonesia, Lombok Treaty, Australian Defence Force, security cooperation, East Timor, INTERFET, Soeharto, Indonesian independence

JEL Classification: K10, K30, KK33

Suggested Citation

Stephens, Dale and Gruber, Stefan, Cooperation, Friction, and Safeguarding: Australia and Indonesia’s Security Relationship (August 27, 2010). Harvard Asia Pacific Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 35-39, 2010, Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/84, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1666661

Dale Stephens

Adelaide Research Unit on Military Law and Ethics (RUMLAE) ( email )

SA 5005
Australia
+61 (0)8 8313 5937 (Phone)

Stefan Gruber (Contact Author)

Wuhan University ( email )

School of Law
Luojia Hill, Wuchang
Wuhan, Hubei Province 430072
China

The University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Waseda University ( email )

1-104 Totsukamachi, Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo, 169-8050
Japan

Kyoto University - Hakubi Center for Advanced Research ( email )

Yoshidahonmachi
Sakyo Ward
Kyoto, 606-8501
Japan

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