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Old 11-28-2018, 01:57 AM
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StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
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As we know, aside from nationalistic ambition where they had once decided that all of Borneo and PNG should be Indonesian you don't just launch an invasion without some sort of payoff.
There's plenty of mineral wealth in PNG and that would be an obvious temptation for Indonesia but the root cause still remains to be answered - what causes them to "need" whatever it is that can be found in PNG?

Is the need more ephemeral, a quick distraction for whatever problems they're having at home (and it provides an easy reason to conscript the "trouble-makers" and have them shipped off to the war)?
Is it something less materialistic, the need for more land for their own overpopulated islands for example?

Could it be the spectre of starvation? They can barely produce enough food for themselves (except for rice and even then, they were still importing rice until 2012 - they needed to grow at least 76 million tons of unhusked rice to enable them to cut back on rice imports). In 2012 they still needed to import 1.6 million tons of soyabeans, 2.3 million tons of sugar and 200,000 tons of beef.

Problems for agriculture include unpredictable weather (in particularl, heavy rains) and conversion of large amounts of land from ag use to industrial use.
All this has been going on for decades and includes millions of tonnes of material wastage due to corruption, inefficiency and neglect. Combine that with the rapid halt of much needed imports, it could be enough for a desperate government to try and grab some primary industry from PNG or to even try "pulling a Falklands" trick to distract the population from bigger problems.

Indonesia has relied heavily on imports from various Asian, North American and European countries, China being a big supplier. With what's happening between the Soviet Union and China, imports are going to dry up pretty damned quick.
Although this page is relevant for the current period, I think we could assume that Indonesia was building to this level of demand for a few decades before the late 2000s. It gives a good look at just what the Indos were wanting from other nations.

As for the crude oil bit, yeah, just shows how little I know about it haha

Last edited by StainlessSteelCynic; 11-28-2018 at 02:00 AM. Reason: Borneo is not spelt Bornea and also clarifying some Indonesia import info
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