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From the battlefield to the negotiating table: GAM and the Indonesian government 1999-2005

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This article looks at the motivations of the Indonesian government and GAM to shift from a purely military strategy in the 1980s and 1990s to a combined strategy in 2000, which for the first time included negotiations. It starts by considering the paradigms through which Jakarta viewed Aceh and GAM viewed Indonesia, and then demonstrates that these paradigms necessitated military action by both protagonists. It then proceeds to explore the changes in the Indonesian governments after the fall of Suharto and their attitudes toward both negotiations and military solution. This is followed by an analysis of GAM's position on negotiations. It will be argued that for both Indonesia and GAM negotiations were part of a broader politico-military strategy rather than an either/or position. It will be further argued that in both cases military weakness, though not a defeat in a conventional sense, played an important role in the decision to embrace the negotiating table.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/26703/

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