Australia Committed to Military Cooperation with Indonesia

Photo: Antara Foto/Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Australia's Dept. of Defense said PM Anthony Albanese's government would continue to provide military training, conduct joint exercises, and export weapons to Indonesia, despite alleged human rights abuses by Jakarta in West Papua.

  • The two countries have a longstanding military relationship, including joint training exercises between Australia's special forces (SAS) and Indonesian Kopassus special forces.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

By selling weapons to Indonesia, the Australian government is unquestionably an accomplice to the murder and oppression of the West Papuans. Not only is Australia exporting weapons used to commit atrocities, the government actively tries to hide evidence of human rights violations so they don't look bad on the world stage.

Pro-establishment narrative

A strong military alliance between Australia and Indonesia is more important than ever, as China's rapid growth in the Pacific threatens to dismantle the strategic goals and partnerships with Western states. As two of the region's most powerful maritime forces, this is necessary for deterring encroachment by China.

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