‘Who Wants to Cover Everything, Covers Nothing’: The organization of indigenous security forces in Indonesia, 1945–50
Title: ‘Who Wants to Cover Everything, Covers Nothing’: The organization of indigenous security forces in Indonesia, 1945–50
Author: FRAKKING, Roel
Citation: Journal of Genocide Research, 2012, 14, 3–4, Special Issue, 337-358
ISSN: 1462-3528; 1469-9494
This article analyses the way in which the Dutch colonial authorities, notably the military, tried to organize their defence forces, state-owned and auxiliary, in the teeth of growing Indonesian resistance against re-instituted Dutch domination between 1945 and 1950. It will focus mainly on the indigenous Plantation Guard, a static defence force designed to protect the plantations that were considered vital to a successful Dutch return to Indonesia. Attempts to stifle the resistance came down heavily on the military side: the authorities, with the help of the planters' community in Indonesia, established one security force after another, dominated by the military. They ultimately created a security matrix they could not control as the parties concerned squabbled over who was to ‘own’ the security forces. In the end, the resulting disunity benefited the insurgents, leaving those Indonesians perceived to be collaborating with the Dutch unprotected and vulnerable.
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