The Jakarta Post
US President Barack Obama dropped a bombshell on the eve of his visit to Indonesia where he will be attending the East Asia Summit (EAS). He announced a deal with Australia that would practically turn the port city of Darwin into a US military base.
For Indonesia, or for most Southeast Asian nations for that matter, the move is not exactly the kind of signal that they are looking for in terms of greater US engagement with Asia.
Obama, who is visiting Bali as the US makes its debut appearance at the EAS, announced the decision during his visit to Australia. As many as 2,500 marines will be stationed in Darwin, effectively adding to the US’ military bases in that part of the world, on top of its current presence in Okinawa, Japan and in South Korea.
The presence of the US base just south of Indonesia is simply too close for comfort. While Foreign Minister Marty Nata...