Canberra backed raid plan

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The Independent Online
Sydney (AFP) - The Australian government agreed to secret British plans to bomb Indonesia in 1964 if Jakarta had moved to step up attacks on the Malaysian federation, according to newly released documents. Cabinet papers for 1964, declassified aft er 30 years, show an entirely different attitude by Canberra towards Indonesia, with which it now enjoys cordial bilateral links.

The British plan was aimed at the destruction of Indonesian offensive air and naval capabilities in the event of a major Indonesian attack on the newly formed neighbouring federation.

It was drawn up in response to President Sukarno's attempt to "crush Malaysia" and would have seen up to 170 British, Australian and New Zealand aircraft bombing Indonesia's recently-acquired Soviet jets. The plan was one of several contingency documentsto produce a graduated response to the Indonesian policy of military confrontation. Malaysia was then subject to escalating Indonesian action which involved cross border raids into Sarawak.