Australian governments of both political persuasions have been embroiled in controversies over military cooperation with Indonesia since bilateral defence relations first began to gather steam under the Keating Labor government in the early 1990s. Prime Minister Paul Keating and Foreign Minister Gareth Evans were enthusiastic proponents of building strong ties with Indonesia, a policy which was extended to the military sphere with the establishment of two high level committees to coordinate and develop defence cooperation in 1994 (Ball and Kerr, 1996:70). These committees were later incorporated into an expanded defence agreement by the newly elected Howard Government in 1996, leading to the establishment of five working groups covering logistics, science and technology, communications, interoperability, education, training and exchanges (Walters, 1996:3).
|Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform
|Published - 2003