Accession Number : ADA620968


Title :   Windows of Opportunity: East Timor and Australian Strategic Decision Making (1975-1999)


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES


Personal Author(s) : Porter, Angus L


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a620968.pdf


Report Date : Jun 2014


Pagination or Media Count : 96


Abstract : This study comprises an analysis of Australia s involvement in the 1975-1999 East Timor crisis. Using a realist lens to analyze international decision making, this study examines how global and regional power dynamics have influenced Australia s pursuit of the national interest. Specifically, the study addresses the question: why did Australian support for military intervention in East Timor take 25 years to develop? To answer the question, the paper is divided into three key periods of East Timorese history: the 1975 Indonesian invasion, the Cold War era (1976-1989), and the post-Cold War era (1989-1999). These periods cover major shifts in great power dynamics as well as significant changes in Australia s strategic outlook. More specifically, they represent periods of Australian dependence on great power patronage and periods where Australia leveraged national power to alter the direction of Southeast Asian security. The study concludes that hegemonic behavior is the primary influence in Southeast Asia. From 1975-1999, a US-backed Indonesian government brutally dominated East Timor, while Australia looked on with complicity. While initially condemning the Indonesian invasion, Australia understood it lacked the capacity to intervene successfully in the crisis. A succession of prime ministers then chose pragmatism over confrontation, pursuing improved strategic and economic ties with Indonesia. This trend continued for more than two decades until the Asian financial crisis shifted regional dynamics, opening a window of opportunity for Australia to intervene in East Timor.


Descriptors :   *AUSTRALIA , *GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , *INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS , CASE STUDIES , DECISION MAKING , FOREIGN POLICY , HISTORY , INDONESIA , MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , PORTUGAL , STRATEGY , THESES , UNITED NATIONS , UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE