International Force East Timor was a peacekeeping mission in 1999 and 2000. At its peak, 11,693 personnel from 23 countries were involved. 5,697 of these were from Australia, making it the largest deployment of Australian forces overseas since the Vietnam War. The mission was unusual in that it was led by Australia, casting the country in a wholly unfamiliar role.
About INTERFET logistics in brief
International Force East Timor was a peacekeeping mission in 1999 and 2000. At its peak, 11,693 personnel from 23 countries were involved. 5,697 of these were from Australia, making it the largest deployment of Australian forces overseas since the Vietnam War. The island of Timor has been populated for up to 40,000 years, occupied by successive waves of immigrants from southern India, Malaysia and Melanesia. It was ruled by small kingdoms that traded spices, slaves and sandalwood with their neighbours. The assistance of the East Timorese people in helping the Australians created a bond between Australia and Easttimor that became part of popular mythology in Australia. The mission was unusual in that it was led by Australia, casting the country in a wholly unfamiliar role. The logistics and support areas of the Australian Defence Force had been subject to deep cuts in the 1990s. There was only one deepwater port, Dili, and it had a maximum quayside depth of just 7 metres. There were few beaches suitable for Logistics Over-the-Shore and just three airfields. The United States declined to intervene in the conflict with Indonesia because it felt that in the Bosnian War the United States had carried out the most risky missions and that its allies should do the bulk of the bills and do more The 1999 Helms-Biden Act restricted the United Nations’ ability to provide military support to the UN Security Council. On 15 September 15, 1999, the U.N. Security Council restricted the UN’S ability to support the UN’s military operations in the Middle East.
The U.S. withdrew its support for the UN peacekeeping operation in the Mideast. The UN also withdrew its military support for INTERFET in September 1999, and the mission was withdrawn in October 1999. The international community was left without a permanent peacekeeping force in the region. In October 1999, a UN-brokered agreement between Indonesia and Portugal was reached that offered autonomy within Indonesia and full independence within Indonesia. On 30 August 1999 a referendum held on a choice between autonomy and full autonomy. The people voted overwhelmingly for the latter, and a violent scorched earth policy was then carried out by pro-Indonesia militia, supported by the Indonesian National Armed Forces. On 28 November 1975, Indonesian forces invaded EastTimor. On 7 December 1975, Fretilin unilaterally declared independence, but on 29 August 1975, the people voted for full autonomy and autonomy. On 5 May 1999, East Timors voted overwhelmingly in favour of full autonomy, and on 30 August the people held a referendum that offered full autonomy to the people of Indonesia. The referendum was held in a vote that offered full autonomy to Indonesia and full autonomy for the Timores. On 29 August 1999, Indonesia’s annexation of East Timoros was recognised by Australia and the United. States, but not by Portugal or the UN. On 9 September 1999 the UN passed a resolution that gave Indonesia full autonomy in the Timor Islands.