Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
August 14, 2009
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
May 15, 1970
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP85T00875R001500020025-3.pdf941.02 KB
Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 Secret DJRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY Special Report Subarto'r Indonesia DSB FILE COPY RETURN TO 1E-6t Secret N9 665 15 May 1970 No. 0370/70A Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 25X1 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 SECRET SUHARTO'S INDONESIA Suharto, president of Indonesia for three years, will visit the United States of`icially and for the first time from 26 May to 2 June. He is expected to discuss the Cambodian situation and Southeast Asian affairs generally, and probably hopes to reach agreement on a modest military acquisitions program that has been under consideration for some weeks. He will express his appreciation of past US economic assistance, and, as a means of m'in- taining the so-far favorable climate in Was'iington toward aid to Indonesia, will talk with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and speak to the National Press Cl,ib. The 49-year-old Suharto has placed his stamp of caution and prag- matism on his administration. He has eased forward on a number of prob- lems while consistently maintaining priority on economic improvement. Indonesia under Suharto continues to make progress on the difficult tasks of economic rehabilitation and is preparing for national elections in mid-1971. The proscribed Communist Party, which remains under strong government pressure, is scattered and ineffective. Although ultimate government control is in the hands of the army, civilian participation is considerable and effective, particularly in the eco- nomic sector. The army considers it necessary to perpetuate its political role at least until economic recovery has been achieved, and will seek to do so in the coming elections and to reinforce its posiiicn with civilian alliances. Although Indonesia follows a nonaligned foreign policy, its interna- tional relations in recent years have been weighted toward the West, from which it receives critically needed financial assistance. Largely because of Indonesia's strongly anti-Communist domestic stance, relations with the USSR and Eastern Europe have been correct but cool in the post-Sukarno era; ties with China were suspended in 1967, and prospects for an early resumption of diplomatic relations are poor. Other than continuing negotiations for economic assistance with both non-Communist and Communist nations, Indonesia's principal international objective is to develop its influence in Southeast Asia. Major facets of this policy have been the founding and subsequent support of the five-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Djakarta's recent initiative that resulted in the scheduling of an Asian conference on Cambodia. Special Report - 1 15 May 1970 SECRET Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 SECRET SOLDIER TO PRESIDENT Suharto's rise from poor boy to the top ranks of army and political leadership is still fairly unusual in Indonesia, yet not much attention is paid to it. Suharto seems to be accepted for what he is-a disciplined, reliable, capable individual. He cannot inspire the colorful copy that former president Sukarno did, but there seems to be general satisfaction that he does not. Suharto was born of humble parents in a Central Java village in 1921 and spent a childhood eventful chiefly for being shuttled from relative to relative after his parents' separation. In June 1940, bored with his job as a bank clerk, Suharto volunteered for the Dutch colonial army, and remained in the armed forces under the Japanese. He fought effectively against the Dutch, emerged with the rank of lieutenant colonel, and then began a steady and quietly distinguished rise in independent Indonesia. By 1963 Suharto had been appointed to the second most senior post in the army as head of the Strategic Command, a combat-ready strike force. It was logical that h should assume temporary leadership of the army when the Communists launched their abortive coup on the morning of 1 October 1965, kid- naping and later murdering army commander General Yani and five other generals. When President Sukarno, who had been in- volved in planning the Communists' antiarmy ac- tion, instructed army leaders to nominate three candidates for the position of army commander, they submitted only one name-Suharto. Al- though Sukarno regarded Suharto as "too stub- born and too anti-Communist," he had no Special Report 15 May 1970 SECRET Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 SECRET alternative but to install him as army commander and did so on 16 October 1965. As head of the developing new Indonesian leadership, Suharto believed that his major tasks during the following year and a half were to maintain the cohesiveness of the army, crush the large Communist Party, and so reduce President Sukarno's power and prestige that he could be quietly and peacefully removed from office. Su- harto accomplished all three objectives, the last in an elaborately phased program, which at the time was criticized by many of his supporters as need- lessly slow. Perhaps it could have been done more rapidly without disruptive consequences, but Su- harto's schedule gave him and his military and civilian colleagues time to sort out some of Indo- nesia's economic and political complexities and to ease the transition from the old order to the new. On 12 March 1967, the Indonesian Congress unanimously passed a decree declaring Sukarno "no longer capable" of fulfilling his presidential duties and naming General Suharto acting presi- dent. A year later, on 27 March, Congress elected 25X6 him to a five-year term as full president. severe economic deterioration and the threat of Communist resurgence both demanded action, and these urgent requirements provided both a valid and a convenient rationale for imposing, until recently, a partial moratorium on political activity. Given the fragmented state of Indo- nesia's political party system, the task of charting the way toward a predominantly civilian govern- ment that would be representative, non-Com- Special Report Suharto has made no effort to disguise the fact that the army is the major political force in Indonesia and his own chief support. He and his colleagues feel strongly that it is the only organi- zation capable of administering the country dur- ing this period of economic rehabilitation and political reorganization. It is the only cohesive, nationally organized group in the country, its loyalties are nationally focused, and with the passing of time, it has increasingly avoided the regional and ethnic divisions that afflict those civilian organizations aspiring to a national role. When General Suharto, then still commander of the army, assumed the presidency in March 1967, the Indonesian Army achieved greater and more effective participation in government than ever before in its 25-year role of nation building. Although Suharto has since relinquished com- mand of the army, he remains the minister of defense and as such is commander in chief of the armed forces. In the 23-man cabinet the army holds three other portfolios, and the navy and air force hold one each. The military, particularly the army, is well represented in all departments at subministerial levels and in industrial and agricul- tural state enterprises. Army officers serve as gov- ernors in 14 of the nation's 26 provinces, and junior officers and noncommissioned officers hold a substantial proportion of subprovincial 15 May 1970 SECRET Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 SECRET jobs down to the village level. Military appointees constitute 18 percent of the membership of par- liament and congress, and hold approximately half of the nation's ambassadorial posts. Suharto and the army uphold the doctrine of the military's "dual function": the military must participate actively in the nation's political and economic life, as well as provide its defense and security force. Politically, army leaders seek a middle road between what they regard as the "free-for-all" parliamentary democracy of the 1950s and former president Sukarno's subsequent authoritarian rule. This middle way would permit significant popular participation but would retain a strong central leadership and a major political role for the army. In the economic sector, the army vigorously argues that economic improvement is a prerequi- site for political stability and a necessity in count- ering a future renascent Communist Party. Su- harto himself is an especially dedicated supporter of this line, but he has entrusted the formulation of economic policy not to the military but to a group of talented and well-trained nonparty ci- vilians. From the beginning of his leadership role in October 1965, Suharto has worked to develop a united military team and to eliminate interservice rivalries. Although the navy and air force are much smaller than the army (army-250,000, navy-48,000, air force-30,000), Suharto has con- sistently included the two smaller services in the military's national role. A military reorganization announced in Oc- tober 1969 and gradually being implemented pro- vides for centralized Department of Defense auth- ority over the three services and for an integrated command down to the provincial level. The chain of command runs from Suharto through six inte- Special Report -4 SECRET grated theatre command;,. The change increases Suharto's personal control over the armed forces and should make for a more flexible andrespon- sive instrument for carrying out the military's functions. In directing national life and interpreting the role of the military, Suharto has insisted on the observance of legal forms, has trie.: to listen to the civilian voice-although this effort is some- times obstructed by he military around him-and has displayed sensitivity to civilian charges of "creeping militarism" and corruption. These traits have inclined ,u iar o to pursue a considerably more liberal administration than could have developed under more authoritarian military personalities on the scene. Although he is unwilling to diminish the army's ultimate authority-fearing any one of sev- eral results such as political instability, a turn toward an Islamic state, or Communist resur- gence-he nevertheless strongly believes that the military bears heavy responsibilitik. s not to misuse its power and authority. For example, when students demonstrated against rising prices early this year, Suharto or- dered that not a shot be fired and that cabinet ministers meet with and answer the students' questions. He has told military com- manders-who, because of Indonesia's economic predicament and budgeted funds. compelled to engage in fund-raising activities for troop wel- fare-that these activities must be truly directed toward this purpose and ,iot be "obstacles to national development." On th;' whole, his ap- proach to government indicates a continuing in- tention to avoid military authoritarianism yet to maintain the ascendency of the military as it guides the nation in achieving economic develop- ment and politico', modernization. 15 May 1970 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 SECRET SUHARTO AND THE CIVILIANS Although the army is clearly predominant, civilians hold a number of important posts in the cabinet, !ar aucracy, and legislature. Those hold- ing the more responsible positions, however, are nonparty technicians or individuals with little po- litical support. Political party members, who had hoped that the downfall of former president Su- karno would restore the parties to greater influ- ence, find that although they have a larger voice than during the last years of Sukarno's rule, their present position falls far short of aspirations. There are seventeen civilians, eight of whom are members of political parties, in the 23-man cabinet, and civilians predominate in the ap- pointed congress and parliament. Suharto has en- couraged these two bodies to carry out their constitutionally prescribed functions (congress makes policy and parliament legislates), and they have indeed from time to time provided a check on the executive. Suharto has urged the army to respect and support civilian officials in the prov- inces. Suharto shares the army's distrust of po- litical parties in general and, in particular, of Moslem parties, which account for a plurality of the electorate. This distrust stt+ms from the na- tion's experience with parliamentary democracy (1949-1956), the parties' irresponsibility during those years, their concern for acc,uiring greater power rather than for achieving .rational goals, Special Report and the series of unstable coalition cabinets that characterized that period. The military's par- ticular negativism toward Moslems is rooted in its memory of the fanatical Darul Islam movement, which tried to establish a theocratic state by armed force for more than ten years before it was crushed. The army also remembers that the Masjuni, the modernist Moslem party dissolved in 1960, supported the 1958 provincial revolt, an- other crisis that the Djakarta government had to settle by military force. Reinforcing these fears is the suspicion that all faithful Moslems, militant or not, want to replace Indonesia's secular society with a Moslem state. Of the three major parties :n Indonesia-the Moslem Scholars (the party of traditional Moslems), the Indonesian Moslem Party (modernist and successor to the Masjumi), and the secular National Party, the army clearly prefers the secular Nationalists. The parties to a considerable extent have earned the army's lack of confidence. As organi- zations, they a:e poorly disciplined, indecisive, and unable to formulate a national program. They tend to be special-interest groups that are ethni- cally or religiously based. Although within the parties, particularly the Moslem Party, there are individuals who have a strong sense of national purpose, they have so far been unable to translate this into a program of action. The army's exclu- sion from leadership roles, of some of the very individuals in both the Moslem and National par- ties who might stimulate a healthier development, however, merely perpetuates the present stagnant, unproductive atmosphere pervading the parties. The army is currently trying to develop an organization of functional groups as another ci- vilian vehicle for political support for the Suharto regime. Functional groups (youth, intellectuals, labor, women) have long been an element of the Indonesian political scene, and the civilians in parliament theoretically are about evenly divided SECRET 15 May 1970 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 SECRET 40 I~SLANOS HA LAND .' (India) e~ ,, jtSOVTH VIETNAM S () !% 7' 11 f' BRUNEI 8RUN NATUNA 15LANDS LikU&A ~'S:NGAPORE / ~-~Reri~ab? Pontianakf'-/ Sintang a J` ~Telukmelano' Samarin PULAU Y~ ~BANGKA SIRIRUT n Dja~,b(- 11 .Palau j!a ra1al A ~Y(endawangan 1 l` Tan jungkarang- - -' -" ' ISLANDS };. T lukbetung J.4 VA X1;A DJAKARTA BOgofebon, aran M!1DURA Bandt~ilQi~ ('.-" urabaja - r Jogjakarta w.L S~ngal alanj;` n~Ix CHRISTMAS ISLAND (Aust.) 6- 15 May 1970 SECRET Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875R001500020025-3 Approved For Release 2009/08/14: CIA-RDP85T00875RO01500020025-3 SECRET C'I'11. 1I: 'S ,5 /?.:1 Manado SER SUNDA, ISLANDS /tAVI'.1 xSE l 9 PUt AU ,I Tw 1. rp ?~ :r,- 1~