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Jakarta Post

US-Indonesian relations in the Obama era

  • Bradley N. Nelson

Jakarta   /   Fri, April 17 2009   /  02:11 pm

In order to get a picture of the trajectory of future US-Indonesian relations, we must look at broad trends in American policymaking. Of particular importance is the notion that the US needs the support of Muslim people, groups, and countries more than ever before. This is a policy idea that most American academics and left-leaning political analysts and activists, among others, have repeatedly encouraged Washington to embrace for the past seven years. Their calls were largely ignored in the Bush years, though times have changed. The new American administration, under the leadership of recently-elected Barack Obama, clearly thinks that this is a desirable policy avenue and is working to implement it in practice. This shift in American policy has roots in two main positions. First, there is a concern that a vocal and active small minority of Muslims, in prot...