|Subject: CONG: Rumsfeld and Leahy on
military aid to Indonesia
U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on the Supplemental Budget Request for Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan
CQ Transcriptions Thursday, March 9, 2006; 2:31 PM
Secretary of Defence RUMSFELD: This happened some years ago with respect to our relations with both Indonesia and Pakistan, two of the largest and most important Muslim countries in the world. And today they are valuable allies in the war on terror.
The result has been the equivalent of a lost generation in relationships between U.S. military and the militaries of their countries, in terms of friendships, contacts, relationships and understanding between the U.S. military and their militaries, relationships that we've had to start up again and try to start up again, almost from scratch in the wake of September 11.
It's a complicated issue. I understand that there's arguments that are appropriate to be made on both sides of it. But I mention it because I think it's something that we need to think very carefully because as a result of some of those actions the United States is looked at as a less than perfectly reliable friend and ally.
Since then, we've made progress in forging stronger ties with those two countries and also with India, in particular, to confront the threat posed by violent extremism.
Senator LEAHY (D-VT): ...Secretary Rumsfeld, you did mention the limitation aid to the Indonesian military. Of course, during that period, they were behaving sort of like a criminal enterprise -- all types of corruption and killings of political dissidents and so on. If this country stands for something -- I believe it does -- we have to show that we do have limitations on help we will give.