Posted by the writer on Wednesday, June 21, 2006
This is not Dante's Hell Circles. This is more mundane. I want to write some basics of Indonesia's foreign policy, and about Dante? I will write that later. Dante is also interesting. Perhaps, Dante is more attractive for some readers here. But, anyway, this is my blog :)
And, ah, this writing is not scientific writing in foreign politics. Its not even an article. This is just my view, a view of beginner in this matter. This is only dots of my experience, Im just trying to connect the dots. Im glad, if any of you willing to comment on this, share your views about Indonesia's foreign policy.
Please question my view. Debate me. Okay?
As in other countries, Indonesia's foreign policy is a tool to maintain domestic interest. Indonesia's interest mostly, territorial integrity. This is natural. Indonesia is an archipelagic state, it consists more 13.000 islands. Integrity for such vast region is essential. But, also this is ironic, because we know, we dont have ability to gain the most of it.
Speaking about circles, AFAIK, these are concentric circles/priorities of Indonesia's foreign policy:
-East Pacific (Aus, NZ, PIF, (Pacific Island Forum: those tiny islands in the pacific)
-East Asia (Japan, China, Korean Peninsula, India)
-European Uni, United States
-Middle East countries
-Asia and Africa (non-alignment countries)
ASEAN is the corner stone for Indonesia foreign policy. Why is that? I think and this is just a wild thought ASEAN is a place where Indonesia can shows its power most. Indonesia, is the biggest country in ASEAN, in terms of people and territory. The present of Indonesia as the fourth largest country in the world in ASEAN, is essential for ASEAN.
Kissinger in his book Does American need foreign policy has portrayed countries in South East Asia region with high potentials of conflict. Countries in this region, has never been involved in open war, because most of them is colonial territories.
In the past, they didnt control them-self. Their colonial was. Dutch was for Hindia, Spain and United States for Philippines, British for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. France was the colonial for most of Indochina.
ASEAN was established in 1967, as a buffer in the cold war, to gather those ex colonials into an agreement in maintaining peace and avoiding war. Therefore there was a Treaty for Amity and cooperation, means: an agreement not to launch open conflict in the region. It was a historical leap for this region. An eternal peace treaty that attracts influential countries, such as Russia, Japan, France, to join the treaty. It is not bad.
As the time goes by, a long with their traditional nature to avoid open conflict, ASEAN is demanded to show real contribution to their own people and international society (read: western countries).
ASEAN is criticized as "weak" in dealing with Military junta in burma (Myanmar) who continue to arrest some so called leaders of pro-democratic movement. ASEAN also criticized as a "bureaucrats gathering", since its never shows any concrete programs to its people (this view compare ASEAN with EU, who has their own parliament, currency, etc and also African Union, who has their own mechanism for conflict resolution and prevention)
SO far ASEAN has advance concepts, of politic, economy and social-cultural community but they are still hesitating to move forward. Some reasons are less trust to each others and heavy dependence in terms of economy and security to the Giants such as US, Japan and China.
Its 9.30 pm. I have to finish, and get some sleep.
I'll be in yogya from tomorrow night. I will update from there.