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Indonesia's stature rises

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Mr. Anggoro says the Australia pact would "revive the old security agreement [of 1995]" between the two countries. Australia has recently resumed military exercises with Indonesia's Special Forces Kopassus unit, and Australian police have shared intelligence and resources to help Indonesia's police track down suspected terrorists.

In the case of the US, the tsunami spurred unprecedented cooperation with Indonesia's military, says analyst Greg Fealy, a lecturer at the Australian National University.

US aid to Muslims affected by the tsunami and by Pakistan's October 2005 earthquake also dramatically improved attitudes toward the US, according to polls sponsored by the Washington-based bipartisan nonprofit group Terror-Free-Tomorrow.

The Indonesia poll, conducted by the Indonesian Survey Institute in February last year, concluded that 65 percent of Indonesians had a more favorable view of the US. A November 2005 poll in Pakistan found similar results, noting that 79 percent of those with confidence in Osama bin Laden had a more favorable view of the US after the earthquake.

As a result, analysts say, the Bush administration was able to parlay the goodwill into lifting an embargo on military exports and foreign military financing ties with Indonesia on Nov. 22.

A modest $1 million in foreign military financing has been approved for the Indonesian navy in 2006, compared with $30 million in military grants for the Philippines. Indonesia's Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said priority would be given to buying spare parts for C-130 transport planes.

Earlier in the year, Washington had been moving toward repairing military ties. In February, two months after the tsunami, the US resumed IMET, an education program for Indonesian soldiers, and the sale of nonlethal military equipment. Later, in May, "the resumption of normal military relations," said President Bush, "would be in the interest of both countries."

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