U.S. Military Restrictions and Indonesian Military
May 20, 2009 - Our hearts and condolences go out to the victims of today's
tragic transport plane crash in Indonesia.
Any effort to blame today's airplane crash on the now-ended U.S. military arms
embargo is nonsense. The cause of the crash is unknown, but no doubt
finger-pointing will intensify in the coming days. Spare parts for non-lethal
military equipment like the Hercules transport plane were only briefly barred in
the early 2000s. In early 2004, the U.S. quickly provided parts and repair crews
for the Hercules to ferry relief in the aftermath of the December 2003 tsunami.
The last legislated military restrictions were lifted in 2005.
If Indonesia really wanted the parts and equipment, they should have made
sincere efforts to meet the Congressional conditions on military assistance -
genuine trials of some generals accused of crimes against humanity in East Timor
would have been a good start.