November 1, 2007, 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
The 11th in a series of case study presentations in support of the Project on National Security Reform
Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; and Christine Gilbert, Research Fellow, Project on National Security Reform moderated this event.
6th floor auditorium of the Hudson Institute, 1015 15th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005.
For more information please contact Richard Weitz at Weitz@hudson.org.
This case investigates the international response to the events in East Timor in 1999 to evaluate the U.S. government's response to the crisis. In analyzing American actions, the study pays special attention to U.S.-Australian cooperation on East Timor since Australian engagement proved critical in the resolution of the crisis. The analysis first depicts the situation in Indonesia and East Timor in the late 1990s. It also describes relations between the United States and Indonesia as well as Australian-Indonesian relations. The paper then reviews U.S. and Australian actions before, during, and after violence erupted in the territory between pro- and anti-independence forces. Despite early confusion and later disputes between Washington and Canberra over the appropriate response to the crisis, especially over the degree of support provided by the United States, the two countries ultimately cooperated to organize an Australian-led military intervention supported logistically by the U.S. armed forces. The conclusion evaluates the performance of the U.S. interagency process and suggests lessons for improving future U.S. military involvement in multinational peace operations and humanitarian interventions.
The Project on National Security Reform (PNSR) is a non-partisan initiative sponsored by the non-profit Center for the Study of the Presidency (CSP). PNSR seeks to improve the U.S. Government's ability to integrate all elements of national power and more effectively respond to the strategic challenges of the 21st century. Modeled on the historic effort that led to the Goldwater-Nichols legislation, PNSR has established nine working groups that have begun a rigorous study of the national security system. Historical case studies constitute the first element of the study methodology. These case studies will inform the analytic work of PNSR's other working groups by highlighting recurring trends in the way the U.S. national security system responds to complex national security problems. Ultimately, PNSR will produce recommendations on changes to the National Security Act of 1947, presidential directives to implement other reforms, and new Congressional committee structures and practices.
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