By David Connery
East Timor’s violent transition to independence, which all started early in 1999, offered the Australian executive with an important international coverage quandary. This problem was once no longer surprising, absolutely unforeseen or finally threatening to Australia’s survival. however the quandary fed on the eye of Australian leaders, observed major nationwide and foreign assets hired, and resulted in the biggest operational deployment for the Australian Defence strength because the Vietnam warfare. This difficulty additionally created an important rupture within the hitherto carefully-managed relationships among Australia and its vital neighbor, Indonesia. The occasions of September 1999 finally resulted in the delivery of a brand new kingdom and the deaths of many of us who may have differently anticipated to take pleasure in that independence. during this significant learn, David Connery examines how the Australian Government—at the political and bureaucratic levels—developed and controlled nationwide safeguard coverage within the face of this quandary. The occasions, and the policymaking methods that either led and undefined, are reconstructed utilizing sixty interviews with key members. This examine identifies convinced features of challenge policymaking in Australia that come with a dominant government, secrecy, exterior actors and complexity.
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Additional info for Crisis Policymaking: Australia and the East Timor Crisis of 1999
Darvill was involved in operational planning as part of AusAID’s Humanitarian Emergencies section in 1999. For the text of the fact-finding mission’s report, see AusAID, Report of the AusAID Fact-Finding Mission to East Timor, 10–20 March 1999, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, 1999. 2–3. 52 Other diplomatic initiatives were underway. 55 A new committee was added to the interdepartmental policymaking structure in mid-April 1999. 56 This meeting included relatively senior representatives (assistantsecretary level) from DFAT, Defence, AusAID, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), AEC, and ONA.
69 Goldsworthy, ‘East Timor’, p. 241. 70 Interviews with Allan Behm, Kerry Clarke and 046-06, a senior ADF officer with direct knowledge of the East Timor crisis. 25; Paul Daley, ‘Gunning for the General’, Bulletin, 30 June 2004; and Ball, ‘Silent Witness: Australian Intelligence and East Timor’. 167–68). Interviewee 046-06 is a former senior ADF officer with direct knowledge of the East Timor crisis. General Sugiono was TNI’s Chief of Staff for General Affairs and General Yudhoyono was Chief of Staff for Territorial Affairs in 1999.
44 Minister of Defence John Moore decided (after consultation with the Prime Minister) to ignore DFAT’s concern and agree to Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Admiral Chris Barrie’s recommendation to proceed with readiness planning and consultation with US Pacific Command (USPACOM). 45 Defence also took the step of appointing Brigadier Mike Smith to manage part of its input to the East Timor policy process. Given the title ‘Director General East Timor’ (DGET), he reported directly to the CDF through the Deputy Secretary Strategy and Intelligence, Hugh White.