WINNING THE PAPUANS’ “HEARTS AND MINDS”: ANALYZING THE INDONESIAN STRATEGY TO COUNTER THE PAPUAN INSURGENCY
Ismanto, Tri Yudha
Borer, Douglas A.
Burks, Robert E.
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Papuan insurgents, the Organisasi Papua Merdeka, emerged in 1965 to demand independence from Indonesia, and their nationalist movement appears to be growing. This thesis analyzes the Indonesian government’s strategy to determine how it can more effectively counter the insurgents in Papua and West Papua provinces. Autonomy and military operations in those provinces have not stopped the resistance, and the Papuans cite their marginalization and human rights violations by the Indonesian government, persistent poverty, and a disputed history as primary grievances fueling their demands for independence. This thesis uses historical research to describe the root cause of the Papuan nationalist movement and analyzes two relevant case studies, East Timor and Aceh, using McCormick’s diamond model, along with the counterinsurgency and insurgency theories. To identify the best strategy to counter the Papuan insurgency, three models are applied: the SIR model (to predict the likelihood of the insurgents’ influence spreading), multiple linear regression model (to find the correlation between autonomy and reduced insurgent violence), and game theory model (to provide an explanation for both actors’ strategic moves). The analysis finds that preventive actions, constructive dialogue, increased autonomy, and strengthened diplomacy are needed to address the Papuans’ grievances. Further, it finds special military operations and law enforcement are critical to maintain stability in the region.
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