Indonesia's Relations with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and United States
Author(s)Mulyono, Imam E.
Contributor(s)ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
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AbstractThe Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has successfully withstood challenges in the international security arena since its establishment in 2001. It has made notable progress, especially in avoiding the use of force to settle border disputes. Nevertheless, the diplomatic, military and economic gap between China, Russia and the rest of SCO members is very wide and has created suspicion that the SCO is only a Sino-Russian led alliance against U.S. interests in Central Asia. When Indonesia's relations with the U.S. soured, SCO members (China and Russia) began replacing the U.S. as a source of arms. The relationship between Indonesia and the SCO members has been reestablished since the end of cold war, while Indonesia-U.S. relations have deteriorated. At the same time, the post-Suharto era Indonesia is facing separatism, Islamic extremism and political turbulence. The Indonesian military, once a powerful political element, has to learn to live under civilian control. However, military reforms are progressing slowly because of the internal military culture and politicians who keep dragging the military back into politics. Against these back drops, what is the impact of U.S. policy toward Indonesia and what tools can be used to improve the chances of achieving long-term U.S. interests?