The Preponderance of Geography: U.S.-Indonesia Security Relations Redux

| Evan A. Laksmana | Taiwan, 16 September 2009 |

Between 14 to 16 September 2009, the Institute of International Relations in Taiwan (IIR-Taiwan) cooperated with the ASEAN Institutes of Strategic Studies (ASEAN-ISIS) to organize the 11th ASEAN-ISIS Taiwan/IIR Dialogue on “The Implication of Global Economic Crisis for Regional Cooperation: New Approaches and New Opportunities.”

Against all odds–given the “economic” outlook of the dialogue–I was asked to present on emerging U.S.-Indonesia relations. Given my love of Clausewitz and Colin S. Gray, I had set out the role of geography in (re)interpreting U.S. grand strategy towards Indonesia.

I generally argue that ‘geography’ features consistently in U.S. grand strategy making and that the end of the Cold War and the 9/11 attacks did not change such foundation. Therefore, the Asian strategic theatre, in the view of the U.S., remains a maritime theater with the U.S. Pacific Command taking the lead. Furthermore, I argue that Indonesia’s geo-strategic considerations have historically taken precedence compared to geo-political and geo-economic factors. Further details can be found on the slides.

I am working on revising the slides into a research paper, so any comments or inputs would be highly appreciated. If you don’t want to comment on the page, please feel free to email me at evanlaksmana [at] yahoo [dot] com

Choke

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