Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy and the world’s largest Muslim country. The country is also the largest economy in Southeast Asia and a member of the G-20 major economies. (G-20, 2015) The bilateral relationship between the United Sates and Indonesia is significant if for no other reason than the first two facts mentioned. The cooperation between the United States and Indonesia (a successful model of a Muslim nation practicing democracy) can have far-reaching effects past Indonesia’s regional Southeast Asian boarders. In this assessment of Indonesia, I will discuss the significance of Indonesia to America and regional effect on its Southeast Asian neighbors more in-depth.
Indonesia plays a significant role to the United…show more content… “The rise of China and India has, in turn, started the process of the emergence of a new regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific. Therefore, of particular importance is the imperative for Indonesia and the US to work together in shaping a regional architecture that can accommodate everyone.” (Sukma, 2010) As the regional architecture changes it is highly likely that America’s ability to protect its interest in the region will increasingly depend on Indonesia’s cooperation and support. An example of this is the Malacca, Sunda, and Lombok straits, which are some of the world’s most important strategic sea-lanes. Close to half of the total global merchant fleet capacity transits the straits around Indonesia. (Masters, 2003) The United States has economic and military interest in keeping access to these straits open. Indonesia’s significance to the United States hinges on how close the bilateral cooperation between the two nations continues to be into the future.
The second and third order of effects of the significance of Indonesia to America will likely strengthen relationships