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Operation Stabilise
Timor Crisis - American Forces

Timor The role of the International Force in East Timor, or INTERFET, is to support the multinational peacekeeping effort that restored order in East Timor following an independence referendum. US troops did not have a combat role, but provided transportation, logistics, command and control, communications, intelligence, and sustainment support for the peacekeeping operation. The US force, comprised of Marines, airmen, sailors and soldiers, provided logistical support -- transporting troops, and providing communications and intelligence. Hundreds of American troops were involved in this UN peacekeeping operation in East Timor that helped restore order.

After days of increasing pressure by the international community, Indonesian President B.J. Habibie announced on Sunday 11 September 1999 that Indonesia would accept peacekeepers in East Timor. Indonesia's willingness to accept a UN-backed international peacekeeping force has brought calls for a swift deployment to the violence torn province.

Australia, with its advanced military, led the mission. Australia and New Zealand initially said they expected a total of eight-thousand troops would be deployed in East Timor. The main objectives were to protect the UN mission there, protect refugees, and to safeguard humanitarian aid. The majority of the force are from the Association of Southeast Asian Nation member countries. Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand have all have pledged support. Japan, whose constitution limits the role of its military overseas, has said it will consider sending humanitarian and financial aid.

Indonesian parliamentary leaders said they understood the President's reasons for accepting UN peacekeepers in East Timor. But the leader of the Indonesian parliamentary commission said that Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, and the United States did not deserve to be involved in a peacekeeping mission.

The crisis in East Timor caused a ripple effect on US Navy forces. The National Command Authority and the Pacific Commander decided that the United States would support the Australian-led peace keeping operation in East Timor by providing heavy lift helicopters. Because of East Timor infrastructure difficulties and force protection considerations, it was decided that sea-based helicopters provided the most appropriate and timely response. The only ship that could meet the required time line was the USS BELLEAU WOOD, whose homeport is Sasebo, Japan. Because of a previous emergent deployment and a large percentage of time already out of homeport, BELLEAU WOOD could not stay on station in the Timor Sea for the period of time desired by the U.S. commander. Therefore, it was decided to have USS PELELIU sail early from the Arabian Gulf and relieve BELLEAU WOOD. This resulted in no ARG/MEU(SOC) presence in the Central Command area of responsibility, resulting in increased risk to CENTCOM objectives and the loss of training and engagement that PELELIU would have provided the Central Command Commander. Until a recent decision was made to use civilian contract helicopters to sustain the heavy lift requirement, USS ESSEX was preparing to deploy on two-week notice from San Diego. Had the Navy been required to deploy ESSEX, this would have violated some of the Navy's quality of life PERSTEMPO rules, but it was the only other solution that met the heavy lift requirement to support forces deployed to the area. Additionally, East Timor required the unplanned deployment of the Kitty Hawk battle group and the Belleau Wood ARG. Although the Navy met the requirements dictated by the East Timor crisis, this increased presence near Indonesia necessarily caused a reduction in Naval presence in both Southwest Asia and near Korea.

Sources and Methods

  • PRESS BRIEFING BY JOE LOCKHART February 11, 2000 -- With the mission accomplished, INTERFET is now handing responsibility to a U.N. peacekeeping mission through which the countries of the region will once again provide the vast majority of troops. Today I am announcing that the United States will continue to support our friends and allies in this important endeavor. A small number of U.S. officers will serve as observers in the U.N. mission.
  • U.S. forces in East Timor change command By Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars & Stripes Tuesday, February 1, 2000 -- As the mission in East Timor changes, U.S. forces have sent in different assets. The USS Juneau arrived last week to help transport equipment, supplies and personnel. The USS Blue Ridge is set to arrive next. Two U.S. C-130 airplanes and four contract helicopters are also assisting in the operation, as well as a ship chartered by the United States to help carry Jordanian peacekeepers. The USS Bonhomme Richard, a huge amphibious assault ship based in San Diego, is also on its way.
  • EAST TIMOR -- A SECOND LOOK Marine Corps News (Jan. 31, 2000) -- Marines of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force East Timor (SPMAGTF East Timor) set sail from that small, fledgling nation early this morning. Their purpose there changed several times since deploying January 18.
  • SPMAGTF EAST TIMOR ARRIVES OFF THE COAST OF EAST TIMOR Marine Corps News (Jan. 26) Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force East Timor (SPMAGTF East Timor) aboard USS Juneau (LPD-10) arrived off the coast of Dili, East Timor, early this morning. The Marines and Sailors will support transition from International Forces East Timor (INTERFET) to the new United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor (UNTAET).

  • MARINES ASSIST IN REPATRIATION OF EAST TIMORESE Marine Corps News 30 November 1999 -- In addition to providing heavy-lift helicopters in support of International Forces in East Timor (INTERFET), the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) recently assisted the International Organization for Migration in repatriating 263 refugees
  • USS Peleliu completes assignment in East Timor NAVY WIRE SERVICE (NWS) - November 29, 1999 -- After just over a month on station, amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) has completed an assignment to the International Force in EastTimor (INTERFET).
  • Byliner: Peacekeeping in East Timor: UN Still the Best Vehicle By David Welch, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs - 23 November 1999 -- The United States is actively supporting East Timor's efforts to build that strong, economically successful democracy through the best vehicle available: the United Nations.
  • 'Imminent danger' bonus for E. Timor in doubt By Steve Liewer Pacific Stars & Stripes November 23, 1999 -- A bizarre legal tangle could cost more than 5,000 sailors and Marines their $150-a-month "imminent danger" bonuses.
  • U.S. ends East Timor airlift missions By David Allen Pacific Stars & Stripes Friday, November 19, 1999 -- The return of the cargo planes from the 517th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, based at Elmendorf Air Force Base, marks the end of the airlift portion of the U.S. commitment to INTERFET, the international peacekeeping force in East Timor. USS Peleliu, which arrived Oct. 26 in the Timoran Sea, is scheduled to depart at the end of the month. A private contractor will take up the slack caused by the return of the U.S. units. The contractor, a Russian company based out of Moscow, will be paid more than $10 million by the U.S. Navy to provide two MIH-26 and two MIH-17 helicopters.
  • Humanitarian Assistance for Timor THE WHITE HOUSE November 13, 1999 -- The President used his emergency authority to authorize an additional $30 million in humanitarian assistance to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Timor.
  • E. Timor tops Mobile Bay trip By Steve Liewer Pacific Stars & Stripes November 13, 1999 -- On its way to East Timor, the Mobile Bay first sailed to Darwin, Australia, to await word of its mission from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  • 31ST MEU(SOC) RETURNS TO OKINAWA Marine Corps News 06 November 1999 -- A portion of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC) returned to Okinawa from just more than a month at sea, where they supported the Australian-led International Forces in East Timor (INTERFET).
  • U.S. begins return of Timor refugees Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars & Stripes October 28, 1999 -- The United States will begin an effort today to repatriate about 3,000 East Timorese refugees forced to flee their homes amid militia rampages last month.
  • U.S. Minimizing Support Role Jan Wesner Pacific Stars and Stripes October 27, 1999 -- The United States is beginning to scale back its role in East Timor, less than two months after the Australian-led international peacekeeping operation began.
  • 31ST MEU DEPARTS EAST TIMOR -- 11TH MEU TAKES OVER SUPPORT ROLE Marine Corps News 10/27/99 - The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC) turned over it's role in support of US Forces International Forces in East Timor (INTERFET) today to the 11th MEU (SOC).
  • Transcript: Assistant Secretary Taft Worldnet on East Timor USIA 27 October 1999 -- The United States has been participating in the INTERFET peacekeeping coalition in East Timor under the leadership of Australia and will continue to participate under the new U.N. arrangement, according to Julia Taft, assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migrant affairs.
  • Sky train to Dili Operation Stabilise Public Affairs 26 Oct 1999 -- In all, there are about 400 U.S. troops in Darwin or Dili. Another 1,800 sailors and Marines are afloat to support the peacekeeping effort. Australia is providing the bulk of the forces, along with the leadership. But the U.S. is providing critical support, such as transportation, logistics, command and control, communications, and intelligence.
  • McGuire airmen evaluate East Timor runways 305th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs 22 Oct 1999 - Five airmen assigned here recently returned from the chaotic former Indonesian province of East Timor, where they conducted two comprehensive airfield surveys.
  • DoD News Briefing Thursday, October 21, 1999 -- The United States currently has 150 people in East Timor. More than half of them are communicators, that group from the 11th Signal Group at Fort Huachuca. And we have 385 people in Darwin. And afloat we have 1,836. Most of those, of course, are on the USS BELLEAU WOOD.
  • Air Force delivers aid to Timor (AFPN) 19 October 1999 -- An Air Force C-5 Galaxy carrying 32 tons of humanitarian aid donated by Portugal has arrived at the staging area for the multinational peacekeeping effort in East Timor.
  • U.S. AIR FORCE AIRLIFTS AID FOR TIMOR 18 October 1999 -- A U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy carrying 32 tons of humanitarian donations donated by Portugal has arrived in Darwin, Australia, the staging area for the multinational peacekeeping effort in East Timor.
  • U.S. ships goods to E. Timor By Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars & Stripes, October 16, 1999 -- The United States is supporting the mission with aircraft, intelligence assets, communications specialists, planners and other logistics assistance. About 2,400 U.S. troops are in the area, but only about 85 are on the ground in East Timor.
  • U.S. Secretary of the Air Force visits troops in East Timor 14 October 1999 -- The Air Force troops have been in Darwin for nearly a month. The Air Force has three Alaska-based C-130 aircraft flying missions in and out of East Timor.
  • Dragons Take Flight To Support Operation Stabilise 31st MEU(SOC) Public Affairs Office (Oct. 13, 1999) ). This was the first time Marines from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 (HMM-265) (Rein), from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC), were able to directly assist troops of other nations in support of the Australian-led multinational force.
  • Belleau Wood ready to deliver the goods By Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars & Stripes, October 13, 1999 -- USS Belleau Wood , based at Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, arrived Friday to provide helicopter support to the U.N. peacekeeping efforts. Early next month, the ship will be replaced by the USS Peleliu and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit from San Diego.
  • USNS San Jose takes its turn By Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars & Stripes October 12, 1999, The supply ship USNS San Jose will rendezvous this week with the USS Belleau Wood off the coast of East Timor, bringing with it fresh supplies for U.S. and Australian troops
  • U.S. still wary in East Timor By Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars & Stripes, October 11, 1999 - Citing security concerns and other problems, U.S. military officials say they are reluctant to put more troops on the ground in East Timor.
  • 'Comm' Up ...' 31st MEU(SOC) Public Affairs Office (Oct. 10, 1999) Marines' first mission in East Timor to set up communication for INTERFET
  • TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE October 8, 1999 -- I authorized the deployment of the amphibious ship, USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3), and her embarked helicopters, to the East Timor region, including Indonesian waters, to provide helicopter airlift and search and rescue support to the multi-national operation. Also, embarked in BELLEAU WOOD is a portion of her assigned complement of personnel from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable)(MEU (SOC)).
  • 31st MEU off coast of East Timor 31st MEU(SOC) Public Affairs Office (Oct. 6, 1999) Marines ready for heavy-lift helicopter mission
  • Air Force airlifts Thai peacekeepers to East Timor (AFPN) 06 October 1999 -- Thailand's elite Rapid Deployment Force was airlifted from Don Muang Air Force Base on an Air Force C-141 transport jet. The deployment of several hundred troops will continue this week, followed by a deployment of the main body of Thai troops over the next few weeks.
  • Belleau Wood With 1,800 Aboard En Route To Timor Sea By Jan Wesner Childs, Pacific Stars and Stripes October 6, 1999 - The arrival of the USS Belleau Wood and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in waters off East Timor later this week means there will be about 2,000 U.S. servicemembers involved in the international peacekeeping effort.
  • USS BELLEAU WOOD, 31ST MEU(SOC) MARINES DEPLOY TO TIMOR SEA 02 October 1999 -- Secretary of Defense ordered USS Belleau Wood and about 900 31st MEU(SOC) Marines and Sailors to the Timor Sea to provide heavy-lift helicopter support to the Australian-led International Forces in East Timor (INTERFET). Meanwhile, the bulk of the 31st MEU(SOC)'s 2,100 Marines and Sailors are participating in Exercise Crocodile 99 in Australia.
  • No rest for the 31st MEU By David Allen Pacific Stars & Stripes, October 1, 1999 -- USS Belleau Wood will carry its usual contingent of about 900 combat-ready Marines. Four Marine CH-53E Sea Stallions heavy helicopters were scheduled to be loaded aboard the USS Belleau Wood sometime Thursday. The amphibious ship is expected to take about four days to make a trip to the East Timor region.
  • Secretary Cohen Press Conference at Bangkok, Thailand October 01, 1999 -- Thailand is playing a leading role in East Timor by supplying some fifteen hundred troops and INTERFET's Deputy Commander.
  • Cohen Pledges U.S. Assistance to Thai East Timor Forces American Forces Press Service 01 October 1999 -- Defense Secretary William Cohen told Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai the United States will help transport up to 1,300 Thai military forces slated to participate in the International Forces East Timor peacekeeping operation.
  • Cohen Issues Blunt Warnings on East Timor, Indonesian Democracy American Forces Press Service 01 October 1999 -- Defense Secretary William Cohen challenged military and civilian leaders here to stop the violence in East Timor and establish a strong civilian government that controls the military as well.
  • C-130 squadron supports Operation Stabilise (AFPN) 30 September 1999 -- About 100 Air Force people are here as part of U.S. Forces International Force East Timor supporting Operation Stabilise, a United Nations peacekeeping operation in East Timor.
  • U.S. Airlifts Take Flight To East Timor By Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars and Stripes September 30, 1999 -- U.S. military officials ask that exact numbers of personnel not be released, but altogether there are about 250 U.S. servicemembers deployed to the peacekeeping mission.
  • Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen Press Conference at the Borobudur Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia September 30, 1999 -- The United States wants a good relationship with Indonesia, but the government's failure to stop destruction and violence in East Timor has in fact impaired our level of cooperation. We have suspended all military programs and initiated a review of all bilateral assistance that is not related to promoting democracy or easing humanitarian problems. The Indonesian government and its military should take whatever steps necessary to prevent militias in West Timor from launching any cross-border attacks against East Timor.
  • USS Belleau Wood deploys to Timor Sea, ship will support INTERFET NAVY WIRE SERVICE (NWS) - Sept. 30, 1999 -- USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3) to proceed to the Timor Sea. The Sasebo-based helicopter carrier will be assigned to the U.S. Forces assisting in the International Force in East Timor(INTERFET).
  • U.S. Support Increases to East Timor "Operation Warden" American Forces Press Service 29 September 1999 -- The additional U.S. participation includes Marine Corps heavy- lift helicopters, an Army communications team and more operations planners.
  • Cohen Takes East Timor Concerns to Australia, Indonesia American Forces Press Service 28 September 1999 -- Defense Secretary William S. Cohen's first order of business as he heads for Australia is to learn firsthand what progress is being made in the beleaguered Indonesian province of East Timor.
  • Background Briefing : SecDef's Trip to Southeast Asia Friday, September 24, 1999 -- We have to keep in mind that Timor is an island, so just talking about it in terms of sort of boots on the ground diminishes the role that other services in supporting roles around the island -- remember we have a tremendous asset which is called the 7th Fleet, and also a lot of airlift potential -- which are not reflected or captured by those simple numbers.
  • Secretary Cohen and Minister Moore Joint Press Conference Darwin, Australia September 29, 1999 -- First, we are committing four heavy lift CH-53 helicopters that are capable of carrying vehicles and other large payloads. Second we are deploying a special army communications team of about 130 people from Fort Huachuca, Arizona . They are going to arrive soon to set up a sophisticated, high-capacity network for voice and data communications.
  • DoD News Briefing Friday, September 24, 1999 -- As of today we have in the mid 200 of folks down there; most of them in Darwin, a handful of them in Dili. I anticipate that more of them will be moving into northern Australia and into East Timor with the follow-on multinational forces as the mission expands.
  • U.S. Troops On Standby For East Timor Mission By Chuck Vinch Pacific Stars and Stripes Sept. 23, 1999 - About 75 percent of the roughly 200 U.S. troops who will take part in the international peacekeeping operation in East Timor are on the ground in Australia awaiting the call to join the mission.
  • Air Force C-130s deploy in support of U.N. Operation Stabilise (AFPN) 22 September 1999 -- Air Force has deployed about 90 people to Australia to support the U.N. peacekeeping operation supporting refugees in East and West Timor
  • DoD News Briefing Tuesday, September 21, 1999 -- From the United States standpoint we have roughly 140 personnel in Australia, primarily focused on Darwin. I would expect another 50 to be in Australia say over the next 24 hours.
  • AEGIS Cruiser becomes floating Joint Task Force HQ 7th Fleet Public Affairs, Sept. 19, 1999 -- USS Mobile Bay stands by to support East Timor operations
  • Okinawa general leading U.S. to Timor By Chuck Vinch and Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars & Stripes September 18, 1999 -- The deputy commander of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force on Okinawa will command U.S. forces taking part in the East Timor peacekeeping operation.
  • Okinawa General Leading U.S. To Timor By Chuck Vinch And Jan Wesner Childs Pacific Stars and Stripes September 18, 1999 -- U.S. troops are strictly in a support role at this point. The main chunks of the force include about 20 to 30 people operating long-haul communications equipment, about 50 intelligence analyst augmentees and about 30 to 40 support personnel for a surveillance aircraft.
  • U.S. Limits Assistance to East Timor American Forces Press Service 17 September 1999 -- The United States will contribute limited, but essential assistance to the Australian-led U.N. security force in East Timor, President Clinton announced here Sept. 16.
  • DoD News Briefing Thursday, September 16, 1999 -- Admiral Scott Fry is the Director of the Joint Staff for Operations, and he's going to give you details to follow up on the President's announcement of our support of the East Timor peacekeeping operation.
  • Briefing Slides DoD News Briefing, Thursday, 16 Sep 1999
  • Pacific Likely To Supply U.S. Troops Pacific Stars and Stripes September 16, 1999 Pg. 1 -- A U.S. Navy cruiser and a destroyer are participating in a long-scheduled exercise with Australia called Crocodile 99, off the north coast of Australia. The exercise is scheduled to last into October, but it could be cut short in light of the East Timor situation. About 7,500 U.S. troops and 15,000 Australians are participating in the exercise.
  • "Hundreds" of Service Members Destined for East Timor By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service 15 September 1999 -- "Hundreds" of U.S. service members will participate in any peacekeeping operation on East Timor, President Clinton said. The Australians are planning a force of 4,500 to East Timor, Australian embassy officials said.
  • White House Briefing September 16, 1999 -- I think the President has indicated from the beginning we're talking about hundreds, not thousands.
  • U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing 15 September 1999 - If Indonesia is unable to deal with a situation like East Timor -- if it were to continue to spin out of control -- it could affect the future of Indonesia, and thus our national security. Secondly, there is a humanitarian interest.
  • DAILY PRESS BRIEFING OF OFFICE OF SPOKESMAN FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL 15 September 1999 -- The Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, adopted shortly after 2 a.m. today resolution 1264, authorizing a multinational force to restore peace and security in East Timor, to protect and support the UN Mission in carrying out its tasks and, within force capabilities, to facilitate humanitarian assistance operations.
  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT UPON DEPARTURE FROM AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND September 14, 1999 -- This will be overwhelmingly an Asian force. But the United States is ready to provide airlift, communications, intelligence, and related capabilities. We are working out the details in consultation with Congress.
  • DoD News Briefing September 14, 1999 -- If you count aircraft, air crews, if there are ships involved and those ships' crews, we would not count that as a part of the overall numbers of people that would be part of a peacekeeping force, although you certainly should count them as contributing to the overall effort. But as far as the numbers of people that would be operating these intelligence units, communication units, and things of that sort, you're talking about in the hundreds.
  • EAST TIMOR: 'UN HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO ACT QUICKLY' USIA Foreign Media Reaction Report 14 September 1999 -- Coverage of the crisis in East Timor remained heavy, with nearly all geographic areas weighing in with their observations on President Habibie's decision on Sunday to "invite" a UN peacekeeping force into the territory to help quell the violence that has ensued in the province following its vote on independence from Indonesia. With a few exceptions--namely editors in Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Cuba--an overwhelming majority of opinionmakers emphasized the need to deploy troops in East Timor "as quickly as possible" in order to prevent a "prolongation" of the "reign of terror" there perpetrated by pro-Jakarta, anti-independence militias.
  • Habibie: Multinational Troops Up To UN Jakarta, Kompas Online Tuesday, 14 September 1999 -- President BJ Habibie stressed, dispatch of multinational troops to East Timor has been wholly entrusted to the UN. The talks will include what criteria will be established for the troops and their origin of country. Indonesia will accept any country as long it stayed out of the country's internal affairs.
  • U.S. Plans to Support U.N. Force in East Timor By Linda D. Kozaryn American Forces Press Service 13 September 1999 -- The U.S. military will provide logistical and other support to an Australian-led international peacekeeping force in East Timor, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said Sept. 12.
  • EAST TIMOR: 'LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL'? USIA Foreign Media Reaction Report 13 September 1999 -- Editors in several geographic regions welcomed with cautious optimism Indonesian President B. J. Habibie's decision yesterday to invite a UN peacekeeping force into East Timor to help restore order to that troubled province. Although some naysayers complained that the international community has been "lamentably slow" to act to stop the bloodshed in the former Portuguese colony, most looked toward the future, noting that Mr. Habibie's decision had at least "opened a path" toward a peaceful resolution. These writers held that the devil would be "in the details" as Indonesia and the UN work out the composition of the peacekeeping force and how it would "work together" with the Indonesian armed forces
  • Indonesia Invites U.N. Peacekeeping Operation Jakarta, Kompas Online Monday, 13 September 1999 -- Indonesia bowed to international pressure to let U.N. peacekeeping forces in East Timor. The U.N. forces will join hands with Indonesian armed forces to carry out security cooperation in East Timor. President B.J. Habibie read the agreement before more than a hundred Indonesian and foreign journalists at the Merdeka Palace on Sunday. He was accompanied by all cabinet ministers and all armed forces top brass.
  • Text: UNHCR Ready to Launch East Timor Relief Effort 13 September 1999 -- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata said Sept. 13 that the international community is in "a race against time" to quell the violence and save lives in East Timor.
  • PRESS BRIEFING BY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER, NATIONAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR GENE SPERLING, AND PRESS SECRETARY JOE LOCKHART September 13, 1999 -- Obviously, if the Indonesian military were not being cooperative and operating for the same objectives as the peacekeeping force, that would be a problem that we would have to deal with very, very strongly.
  • PRESS BRIEFING BY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER September 13, 1999 -- What is important to us is that the force be able to deploy promptly, that it be effective, that there not be any restrictions on it that would impede its effectiveness, and that it is able to both restore order and effectuate the will of the Timorese people as expressed in the August 30 referendum.
  • PRESS BRIEFING BY JOE LOCKHART September 12, 1999 -- Obviously, the situation on the ground is serious and it's notimproving. I don't have any more details to offer beyond there are certainly some things that -- capabilities that are unique to the United States that we can do as far as airlift logistics, communications and others.
  • READOUT TO THE PRESS POOL BY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER September 12, 1999 - The President has indicated that the Australians have asked us to do some things with respect to lift and logistics and communications, perhaps intelligence. He has not ruled out other forms of participation. I think our option principally is to intensify the pressure on Indonesia, until they do agree to an international force.
  • REMARKS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON, PRESIDENT KIM OF REPUBLIC OF KOREA, AND PRIME MINISTER OBUCHI OF JAPAN IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY September 12, 1999 -- Since Australia would lead this mission and provide most of the troops, [discussions ] have centered around our providing some of the things that only we can provide, probably, like extensive airlift support to bring troops from other countries, primarily of Asia, into the theater; other logistical support, intelligence, communications -- some things which would require our presence in a limited way within within East Timor.
  • PRESS BRIEFING BY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER, NATIONAL ECONOMIC ADVISOR GENE SPERLING, AND PRESS SECRETARY JOE LOCKHART September 11, 1999 -- There was always anticipated that there would be a U.N. force in so-called Phase III, which is after the government, the new government of Indonesia recognized the results of the consultation. Obviously, the fighting, the chaos, has made that more urgent.
  • Clinton Says U.S. Would Aid Aussie Peacekeepers in Timor By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service 10 September 1999 -- The United States is prepared to support any Australian effort to provide security in East Timor, President Clinton said Sept. 9.
  • East Timor: Tiny Crack in U.S.-Indonesian Relations Grows By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service 09 September 1999 -- China sees Southeast Asia as an opportunity to flex its muscles. Regional stability calls for a strong, unified Indonesia.
  • DoD News Briefing September 9, 1999 -- As Secretary Cohen said yesterday we don't envision sending any ground troops, but the Australians have approached us asking about whether or not we could support any sort of a force they might put together in logistics, communications, intelligence, and strategic lift.
  • DoD News Briefing Wednesday, September 8, 1999 -- The United States is not planning on any insertion of peacekeeping forces. What we are doing is--we are coordinating and talking to Australians and others who would be interested in a peacekeeping force should the Indonesian government invite such a force in and should the United Nations approve it.
  • Pentagon Not Planning East Timor Intervention By Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service 08 September 1999 -- DoD is not planning to provide peacekeeping troops to East Timor, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said Sept. 8. "The United States is not planning an insertion of any peacekeeping forces," Cohen said. Rather, he said, Indonesia should act quickly to protect its citizens. Cohen said the United States cannot act as the world's policeman and has to be selective in deciding where it commits troops. "I think it's premature for the United States to be talking about any peacekeeping force at this time," he said.
  • DoD News Briefing September 7, 1999 -- There are two ships in Port Darwin, two combatants. One is the USS MOBILE BAY, a cruiser; and the second is a destroyer, the USS O'BRIEN. They are actually there for an exercise called CROCODILE '99. They will be participating in that exercise which I think begins on September 15th or so and runs into October. There's also a third ship there which is a support ship, the USNS KILEAU, and it is in the area. The U.S. position is very clear. We are going to continue to encourage the Indonesian authorities to provide security. Second, we are going to await the report of the UN survey team. And when we have that information in hand we'll decide what to do.

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