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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

When working with Indonesia exploration should heed the lessons of competition with the CIA

Agreement on the exchange of intelligence between Russia and Indonesia is of much greater importance than it seems at first glance. Jakarta to Moscow is a promising partner in energy sphere, in the sphere of arms trade. And part, apparently, took into account past experience, when the cooperation between the USSR and Indonesia were under the gun of the CIA.

Moscow and Jakarta agreed to exchange intelligence and enhancing contacts between law enforcement agencies, said Wednesday the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo. “We are interested in the establishment and further development of cooperation in overcoming challenges and threats, primarily in the field of counter – terrorism,” he said after the talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. What data Indonesian intelligence could be interested in Russia, especially on a bilateral basis, is debatable.

“It is believed that a decisive factor in the annexation of Irian Jaya was the presence around Papua New Guinea with its numerous small Islands dozen Soviet submarines”

The first thing is obvious, clear and what he said Indonesian President, is cooperation in the fight against terrorism. Indonesia is the largest in population Muslim country in the world and a constant target of terrorists. Especially often exposed to the terror of the resort, and also places of compact residence of the non-Muslim population. It slightly (about 2%), and its greatest density is in the resort island of Bali, as well as the province of Aceh – the eternal source of separatism.

While Indonesian counterintelligence accustomed to work after the fact, and after the high profile terrorist acts in which the resorts are dying aliens, to command in investigating trying the Australian security and intelligence center (with ASIO). The Australians had secretly taken custody of the Southern seas, also in the official documents of Canberra, dedicated to the defense and security, recorded that “the threat to Australia comes from outside”, because the with ASIO officially signed the cooperation agreements with 347 special services in 131 countries. This is an absolute world record that no one can beat, because Australia is the only country in the world that knows about the existence of intelligence services of South Samoa, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Fiji, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, not to mention the Federated States of Micronesia. Canberra is unique in his desire to sign with them agreements on the exchange of intelligence.

At the same time, in Indonesia there is a tendency to diversify military and intelligence ties with the gradual withdrawal from the Western standard and priority work with the CIA and its satellites. It is a derivative of the official policy of neutrality Indonesia, which resembles “the non-aligned movement”, and in the current era of technological dominance implies to alternate procurement of Western and Russian weapons. Moreover, the Chinese guns in this market are not yet a player, because Indonesia has sufficient resources to buy Russian jets and not spoiled their Chinese counterparts.

In the context of counter-terrorism for Russia, the Indonesian intelligence information is interesting, like every other, because of the abundance of information in this case does not happen. Its quality, reliability and utility in each case will be appraised by the experts, comparing such number with other sources. In any case, such exchange is useful for us. And Indonesia, oddly enough, the first state in the region that agreed to sign such an agreement. Even with Vietnam such no formal contracts, not to mention Tuvalu and Nauru, with whom we also work at the individual level showed that the recognition by these States of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Talking about the agreement with Indonesia began in February, and not so much in preparation for the summit “Russia – ASEAN” in Sochi and the scheduled meeting between President Putin and President Widodo, as in the context of the discussion of the contract for the supply of Jakarta from su-35. This is a crucial specification, since Moscow has the sad Soviet experience of cooperation with Indonesia in the military and intelligence sphere. This, of course, been a long time, and Indonesia were different then, but still, it’s revealing story from the point of view of the methodology of intelligence operations against the main enemy on the territory of third countries.

In the 60s Indonesia led by President Sukarno, was inclined to formally pseudo-socialist economic policy, launched a territorial expansion against the world around her. In a relatively short period of time she “bit off” the Western part of the island of New Guinea (Irian Jaya) and passed to an open clash with the emerging government of Malaysia, desiring to tear away from the former British colony of much of its island territory. Officially this campaign, Sukarno was called “Crush Malaysia”, and when semi-guerrilla (now there’s a new word – “hybrid”) the war with the possible participation of North Vietnam and North Korea have not yielded significant results and Malaysia in its present boundaries was admitted to the UN, Indonesia from the UN came.

All of this, I may say, foreign policy was based on huge military support for the Soviet Union, traditionally kupivshiysya on “socialist ideas” Sukarno. Jakarta then received from the USSR army for several billion dollars, and that allowed her to take on the whole world around them. It is believed that a decisive factor in the annexation of Irian Jaya was the presence around Papua New Guinea with its numerous small Islands dozen Soviet submarines (and formally transferred to Indonesia, and Soviet crews on Board, and often both simultaneously), and thus Dutch, and British ships could not put to sea. In the same way, but under President Suharto, Portugal was selected East Timor, whose independence was restored recently.

This situation and took advantage of the CIA. The Americans launched in Indonesia a large-scale operation “Habring”, gathering information about all the weapons that the Soviet Union was transferred to Jakarta. Counterintelligence Indonesia during that period was in its infancy. It consisted mainly of former officers of the Dutch army of occupation of local origin, who were involved in bloody fighting with the “enemies of the regime” and the Muslim activists. The Americans simply bribed the local that gave them documentation on Soviet weapons, sometimes – together with the samples.

“The Americans launched in Indonesia a large-scale operation “Habring”, gathering information about all the weapons that the Soviet Union was transferred to Jakarta”

In the mid 70-ies of the details of the operation “Abrink” revealed Jeffrey Barnett, a former CIA operative who, during the Sukarno worked at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia at the Consulate in Surabaya, and its functions included the recruitment of Soviet citizens. Retired from the CIA, Barnett has taken root in Indonesia, has opened a shrimp plantation, however, went bankrupt and transferred the data about operation Hebrink” the KGB in exchange for covering the debt in 100 thousand dollars. In 1979, he was issued a U.S. defector KGB Pigusov recruited in the same Indonesia. Barnett was sentenced to 18 years in prison, but in 1990 he was released on bail. And Piguzov, in turn, was compromised by Aldrich Ames and executed in 1986.

These stories in the professional community be remembered forever. And now Moscow wanted to protect themselves from such. In those samples of weapons, which will come to Indonesia, it is enough that might interest the CIA. Fascinating and many of the details that always accompany large-scale contracts for the supply of weapons: the financing schemes, intermediaries, meeting places, marking supplies – registers down to the transport ships. And the Russian side would like to see exploration of Indonesia at least informed her about the possible intrusion attempts or recruitment approaches everything and everyone who is somehow involved in Russian-Indonesian military-technical cooperation.

By the way, a cooperation agreement intelligence is not always accompanied by contracts for military supplies, so there is an additional advantage to the common position of Indonesia to neutrality. In South America, for example, the lack of such interaction at some point led to the weakening of the Russian military-technical relations with neutral countries. The CIA quickly came to himself after the first shock, when it became clear that almost 70% of the South American arms market suddenly moved to the main enemy, and began the systematic failure of the contracts. Moreover, this struggle was accompanied by several strange deaths among the Russian diplomatic staff and intermediaries.

The arms trade abhors a vacuum, but love peace, to which the natives of Latin America (and the Arabs) not the usual. But in Indonesia it is possible to maintain the desired confidentiality. Unless, of course, will try both sides. The obvious problem here is turmoil in the Indonesian intelligence services, appointments to key positions in which are conducted mostly on the principle of personal loyalty and favoritism. In addition, they are used mainly to solve internal problems, not to ensure secrecy and counter-intelligence activities in the truest sense of the word.

I should add that in the Russian-Indonesian agreement contains a number of additional points, which are now common to all intelligence services of the world. First and foremost we are talking about the economic aspects of exploration and ensuring corporate information security. With Indonesia signed a multibillion-dollar civil contracts, for example, in the oil and gas sector and railway transport, and their maintenance also requires this level of secrecy, which forces the security services of Gazprom and Rosneft is not achieved. A separate article – ensuring the safety of navigation and fishing as the waters of Indonesia (especially the Strait of Malacca) – the same problem from the point of view of piracy in the region, as well as the shores of Yemen and Somalia.

Thus, the agreement on the exchange of intelligence between Russia and Indonesia – event perspective. But it is also important that the project did not become a purely bureaucratic system, as it often happened. The increase in the staff of embassies and consulates, as well as formal establishment of counseling centers and commissions – not an end in itself. But establishing a routine, daily work between the employees of the Russian intelligence community and the Indonesians would have reached a necessary level of understanding, highly relevant task. In dealing with such difficult to understand the countries (with their specific history, ethnic and religious composition, the heavy internal political situation) require expertise and tact. Indonesians simpler: Russia in this respect, much more understandable.

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