Recently, Wikileaks shocked the World by revealing the US “dark roles” that were performed in almost every state. Not long afterward, some shocking news came up about the US intelligence activities that to include spying on its allies. In the southern hemisphere, Australia, which is allegedly the US’ outpost in Asia Pacific, did similar practice upon its neighbors. Such spying activities indeed raised many outrages, especially from targeted states. Malaysia for example, had called the Australian ambassador to clarify the tapping issues. Another state, Indonesia, even has taken several “strong concrete measures” by limiting its diplomatic relation as a protest toward Australia, for illicitly tapping the President and his wife’s phone call. Indonesia has cancelled some joint military exercises with Australia. Moreover, it has withdrawn its diplomats immediately including to reconsider the trade agreement with Australia afterward.
Such strong reactions are natural in the context of spying is identical with a hostile attitude. It becomes even worse, when it targets a state leader who is equal to the state symbol. Thus, in this case Indonesia has every right to be angry. Notwithstanding Indonesia has expressed its resentment, the question remains: is it an appropriate way to do so?
There are some considerations to think and react alternatively regarding the spying issue.
First, Indonesia should be more aware that we are living in the reality of the International realism. The basic principle within is the self-help of which state should take care of itself and national interests prevailing among others. Every state, regardless the Today’s Era of International realm, apparently still adopt this classic principle. Therefore, it is still a very relevant quote of 19th Centuries: “We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.” As to the current situation, the big picture is “spying between states” is a common practice. In other word, Indonesia should cope with the issues as “a grown man.” Why would Indonesia expect Australia not to spying its leader, while the US still spies on its allies such German? Moreover, whether admitted it or not, Indonesia would also do the same if the opportunity were in hand – remember that Indonesia did not condemn Assange when he disclosed the US’ secret!
Second, up to now, Indonesia still does not have solid evidence on the tapping by the Australia intelligence. Since the basis of spying allegation is merely on Snowden’s statement; hence, it is impossible to expect the Aussie’s remorseful gesture. Such a stance by Australia is understandable, since admitting the tapping means admitting the failure of its covert operation. Yet for Indonesia, any improper response will expose its own weakness – excessive reactions mean Indonesia is exposing its counterintelligence inept. Thus, both Australia and Indonesia are in...