Kopassus not in US, RI pact

Kopassus not in US, RI pact
, 15 June 2010

The Indonesian and US governments have signed a defense agreement that may help mend bilateral ties after a US military embargo, but excluded specific mention of Indonesia’s special forces.

The agreement established a framework for defense cooperation on logistics, joint training, officer exchange education programs, a security dialogue and equipment procurement, said Indonesian Defense Ministry spokesman I Wayan Midhio.

The agreement did not specify if the Indonesian Army’s Special Forces (Kopassus) would be involved in joint operations or other activities.

Wayan told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that negotiators discussed the TNI (the Indonesian Military) in general but did not specifically discuss Kopassus.
“Nevertheless, Kopassus is part of TNI,” he said.

He said Kopassus’s exclusion from the negotiations was a political decision. The US military would have to spend money to implement the agreement, which was banned by the US Congress as part of the military embargo.

The framework was signed last Thursday by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Policy Robert M. Scher and the Indonesian Defense Ministry’s director general for defense strategy, Maj. Gen. Syarifudin Tippe, said a press release from the US Embassy in Jakarta.