US Rapprochement with Indonesia: From Problem State to Partner
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 32, Number 3, December 2010
- pp. 362-387
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Over the past decade US relations with Indonesia have undergone a dramatic rapprochement such that today officials in both countries claim relations are at an all time high. Indonesia's transition to democracy and its adoption of effective counter-terrorism strategies laid the basis for the rapprochement. At a time when the Bush Doctrine advocated democracy as an antidote to terrorism, the Indonesian experience appeared to vindicate the logic of US policy. Under the Obama administration, policy towards Indonesia has been driven not only by shared democratic values and interests, but also by recognition that Indonesia is an emerging power that will play an increasingly influential role in global governance. The US and Indonesia are building a Comprehensive Partnership that creates a framework for enhanced security, economic and educational engagement, as well as cooperation on transnational issues such as climate change. For the relationship to reach its full potential, however, a series of obstacles must be overcome.