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Indonesia's Transformation and the Stability of Southeast Asia

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Indonesia is undergoing a systemic political transition that could lead to a variety of outcomes, from the consolidation of democracy to regression to authoritarianism or disintegration. The stakes are high. With a population of 212 million and a land mass greater than the rest of Southeast Asia combined, vast natural resources, and a strategic location straddling critical sea-lanes of communication and straits, Indonesia is the key to Southeast Asian security. Therefore, Indonesias choices and its evolution will frame the future of Southeast Asia and influence the balance of power in the broader Asia-Pacific region. Influencing Indonesias transformation is the most critical challenge to U.S. foreign and defense policy in Southeast Asia. This study examines the trends and dynamics that are driving Indonesias transformation, outlines Indonesias possible strategic futures and analyzes their implications for regional stability and U.S. security interests, and identifies options available to the United States and the U.S. Air Force to respond to these challenges. This research was conducted in the Strategy and Doctrine Program of Project MR FORCE and was sponsored by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, U.S. Air Force AFIXO, and the Commander, Pacific Air Forces PACAFCC. This report should be of value to the national security community and interested members of the general public, especially those concerned with U.S. relations with Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASFAN and the future of the Asia-Pacific region.

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  • Government and Political Science

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