Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
January 13, 2005
DEP. SEC. WOLFOWITZ: The Indonesians have welcomed us with open arms and all of the kinds of concerns about sovereignty and mistrust of foreign militaries and questions about the problems with our military to military relations have been put aside in the wake of this disaster to a degree that … frankly old Indonesian hands are surprised.
That’s the background that I think people should recognize. I don’t know exactly the words that Vice President Kalla used, but it would certainly be our expectation – our hope – that we wouldn’t be needed as a military in Indonesia, in fact, hopefully before that, and maybe long before that. That doesn’t… I’m talking about the military role. I’m not saying foreign assistance or foreign NGOs. That’s a completely different matter.
But for any country it is sensitive to have foreign troops on your territory. It would be sensitive in the United States and I can tell you that it is extremely sensitive in Indonesia. What’s remarkable is that it has caused no problems to date and I don’t think there will be any problem with the transition.
DEP. SEC. WOLFOWITZ: That’s what I meant, March.
DEP. SEC. WOLFOWITZ: Well I would hope that we would not be needed as a military long before March… well, let me not predict… I would hope that that date would not be an issue at all.