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Diane Publishing Books
Indonesia: Domestic Politics, Strategic Dynamics, and American Interests
Bruce Vaughn (au)
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim nation. It is also a moderate Muslim state that is strategically positioned astride key sea lanes that link East Asia with the energy resources of the Middle East. Indonesia, seen by many as a valuable partner in the struggle against radical Islamist militants in Southeast Asia, is continuing to democratize and develop its civil society and rule of law. However, a legacy of abuse of human rights by the military that stems from the three-decade reign of former President Suharto, who stepped down in 1998, remains unresolved. U.S. foreign policy concerns have focused on building relations with Indonesia to more effectively counter the rise of militant Islamist extremists, as well as to develop relations with a geopolitically important state. This report surveys key aspects of Indonesia’s domestic politics and strategic dynamics in addition to provide general background information on Indonesia. It also provides an overview of the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Indonesia. The report examines issues of ongoing congressional interest, including Indonesia’s role in the struggle against violent Islamist extremists, security assistance, human rights, religious freedom, promotion of democracy and good governance, trade, foreign assistance, and regional geopolitical and strategic interests. The report seeks to provide a broader context for understanding the complex interrelated nature of many of these issues. Tables and map.
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