The Incubus of Intervention: Conflicting Indonesia Strategies of John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles – S$38.00

Sukarno was at the centre of the conflict between John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles (Director of Central Intelligence). With the intention of removing Sukarno from power, Dulles’ strategy of ‘regime change’ was well-advanced before Kennedy became president. Indeed, his career in intelligence had started even before Kennedy was born! In 1958, DCI Dulles was at the height of his power. He was not simply targeting the Outer Islands in Indonesia, but the entire Indonesian archipelago – including Netherlands New Guinea where the world’s largest gold deposit was located (and is today still being mined). Unlike Dulles, neither Kennedy nor Sukarno was aware of this El Dorado. But when the author interviewed Joseph Luns, the former Dutch Foreign Minister who became NATO Secretary-General, Luns said that he had asked the Americans involved to exploit the huge gold deposit jointly with the Dutch. It was their refusal, Luns said, that actually forced the Dutch out of New Guinea. When Kennedy and Sukarno in 1963 resolved to work together, US foreign policy threatened to disrupt – unwittingly – Dulles’ own Cold War strategy which was focused on Indonesia. JFK’s wariness, after Allen Dulles’ role in the Bay of Pigs, drew a tongue-in-cheek but prophetic comment: ‘Domestic policy can only defeat us’, he used to say. ‘Foreign policy can kill us’.

Dr. Greg Poulgrain teaches Indonesian History, Politics and Society at the University of the Sunshine Coast, near Brisbane. In 2014 he published Genesis of Konfrontasi: Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, 1945-65 (SIRD, Petaling Jaya). Dr. Baskara T. Wardaya teaches history at Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In 2011–12 he taught history at the University California-Riverside, USA, as Fulbright Scholar in Residence. His works include Bung Karno Menggugat [Sukarno Accuses] (2006); Cold War Shadow (2007); and Truth Will Out (Melbourne, 2013).

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  • Title: The Incubus of Intervention: Conflicting Indonesia Strategies of John F. Kennedy and Allen Dulles
  • Author: Greg Poulgrain
  • ISBN: 9789670630502
  • Book Size: 152.4mm x 228.6mm
  • Weight: 480g
  • No. of pages: 288p
  • Price: S$38.00 (before tax)
  • Year: 2015
  • Finish: Paperback
  • Published by: SIRD
  • Printing: B/W
  • Genre: Indonesia, Politics, History, International politics

Additional information

Weight 480 g
Dimensions 15.2 × 22.9 cm


Established in 2000, and nominated for 2020’s Prix Voltaire, Gerakbudaya is a publisher and distributor of books that embody social awareness, critical and alternative perspectives, and the hidden histories of Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the wider world we live in.

Gerakbudaya is dedicated to the circulation of timely and important books, to breaking down artificial barriers between writers/thinkers and between institutions and the outside world, and generating informed discussions on important issues in Malaysian life by providing different views and fresh insights.

As a publisher, alongside our academic imprint Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (SIRD), we are committed to publishing original and thought provoking books which produce a critical awareness of Malaysian politics, history, culture and society.

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