The United States has decided to resume the sale of lethal military hardware to Indonesia. The State Department announced Tuesday that in the interest of U.S. national security it has exercised its authority under a law passed earlier this month to waive conditions on U.S. military relations with Indonesia.
The State Department statement says “Indonesia has made significant progress in advancing its democratic institutions and practices in a relatively short time.” As a result, the department has decided to waive conditions placed on the sale of lethal military equipment to Indonesia and on U.S. financing of Indonesian military purchases…
Congress was divided on the issue, with the House of Representatives voting to remove the restrictions, while the Senate voted to maintain them. The Senate’s view was adopted as part of a broader compromise that enabled the law to be passed.
Tuesday’s State Department statement notes that Indonesia is the world’s most populous mostly Muslim nation, and praises the country as “a voice of moderation in the Islamic world.” It also says Indonesia “plays a key role in guaranteeing security in the strategic sea lanes in Asia.”