DENPASAR, Indonesia -- The recent spate of popular uprisings in the Middle East has surprised and captivated public attention. It is now widely expected that policymakers in Washington, Brussels and the U.N., among others, will draft pro-democracy aid packages for the region, many of which will focus on security sector reform (SSR).
This is a welcome development, but in the rush to support Egypt, Tunisia and possibly Yemen and Libya, aid donors should not forget countries that are already going through a similar process. Indonesia is a case in point.
The archipelago nation, with its 240 million inhabitants, happens to be the country with the world's largest Muslim population and is the third-largest democracy on the planet. Its political weight is thus unquestioned, as is its value as a partner to the West, especially in the era of the alleged clash of civilizations.