Indonesia Policy: Avoiding Past Mistakes

Indonesia Policy: Avoiding Past Mistakes

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent visit to Jakarta underscores the importance that the Obama administration appears to attach to Asia and to the U.S. relationship with Indonesia. Indeed, a broad-based, mutually beneficial partnership between the United States and Indonesia can and should be one of the foundations of America's 21st century Asia-Pacific strategy.

But in shaping America's future relationship with that key country, U.S. policymakers should avoid the miscalculations that previously anchored the United States' engagement to Indonesia's anti-democratic, military-dominated elites.

Throughout the Suharto dictatorship and even after his fall, U.S. relations with Indonesia suffered from inadequate attention to creating economic and security ties that improve the lot of the whole of Indonesian society.

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