US Explores Ties With Controversial Indonesian Special Forces Unit “Kopassus”

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Source: VOA

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stated that he will explore reopening ties with the unit, called Kopassus, even though it is currently precluded under the so-called Leahy Laws, sponsored by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D), which state that the State Department and military are barred from assisting any foreign security forces that have violated human rights “with impunity.”….

Kopassus, which is short for “Special Forces Command” in Indonesian, was founded in 1952 and its activities include unconventional warfare, sabotage, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and intelligence. It gained notoriety for its abuses in East Timor during the Indonesian occupation there (which ended in 1999) and in the 1998 Jakarta race riots, when Kopassus was involved in the murders of and violence against Chinese Indonesians. The unit was strongest during the Suharto dictatorship, which fell in 1998, and has had a somewhat diminished stature in the democratic era.

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