A Costly “Covert” Operation
The Indonesian cabinet ordered a nationwide twenty-four-hour strike to protest Dutch control over West Irian. The rapid repatriation of more than 40,000 Dutch citizens and the remaining Dutch capital had a traumatic effect on the already ailing economy. The banking system fell into complete disarray, production by the large Dutch estates dropped precipitously, Shell Oil Company’s operations in Kalimantan were disrupted, and 78 percent of the inter-island shipping tonnage was withdrawn to Holland by the Dutch shipping company. Central Intelligence Agency officers connected with the operation claim that Leroy Fletcher Prouty comments are inaccurate and exaggerated. Howard P. Jones, who expressed disapproval of the operation in his memoirs, assured Sukarno on the occasion that the United States had no intention of interfering in Indonesian internal affairs. Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia Prime Minister Syafrudin Prawira Negara exuded confidence, predicting that the invasion of Sumatra would be President Sukarno’s last breath.