Courtesy Reuters

The Soviet Challenge in Indonesia

The course of Indonesian policy today must cause doubt and deep concern regarding the future of the world's fifth largest nation. Since Premier Khrushchev's ten-day visit in February 1960, Indonesia has become a major target of Soviet aid and influence, and only massive Western efforts can now prevent its gradual incorporation into the Communist bloc. All the instrumentalities available to the Kremlin-overt and covert, domestic and international-are concentrated on the elimination of Western influences from Indonesia, its isolation from the new nations of Asia and Africa, erosion of the will of domestic anti-Communist political forces to resist capture of the government by the Communist Party, and eventual alignment with the Soviet Union. What the West faces in Indonesia is not simply harassment from a group of conspirators, in usual cold-war fashion, but an all-out challenge from a great power. Indonesia has become a testing ground for the new techniques of power politics, with the local Communist Party only one of various instruments used by the Soviet state to supplant Western influence.

Soviet advances in Indonesia are truly amazing. In the hectic years of Indonesia's struggle for independence, from 1945 to 1949, Moscow attacked nationalist leaders such as President Sukarno as bourgeois lackeys of imperialism, even though the Soviet delegation in the United Nations supported Indonesia as a matter of anti-imperialist principle. In June of 1961 Sukarno chose to celebrate his birthday in Moscow, where the top civilian and military leaders of the Soviet Union presented their felicitations to him. In September 1948, the Indonesian Communist Party engaged in armed rebellion against Sukarno's nationalist government and in a historic radio address he was forced to ask the people to choose between himself and Musso, the Communist leader who had just returned from long years of exile in Moscow. Today President Sukarno's most powerful political support comes from the Communist Party, which he protects against an anti- Communist but submissive officer corps. Until 1954 the Soviet Union was unable to establish diplomatic representation in Djakarta, although it had offered

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