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Indonesia a US Foreign Policy Dilemma

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Student thesis

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Indonesia was born out of the anti-colonial trend which developed in the Far East after World War II. It was born with a dislike and distrust of the colonial powers, particularly Holland. From the beginning this country grew with a strong nationalistic and revolutionary personality which, under the guidance of Sukarno, developed firm influencing elements of its foreign policy. United States foreign policies are developed from basic national objectives supporting the principle of self-determination and the freedom of others. There are factors of Indonesian policy which by their nature resist basic US objectives and will not allow successful implementation of an acceptable US foreign policy as long as these factors are dominant. In 1963 Sukarno led his country into a confrontation toward the Federation of Malaysia. The US had supported the forming of the Federation. From that time until 30 September 1965 relationships between the US and Indonesia deteriorated to the near breaking point. Sukarno led his country closer and closer to a Communistic state, which event would have considerable affect upon US strategy in the Far East. The 30 September 1965 coup attempt was attributed to the Communists. Its failure struck a telling blow to the Communist party, reduced Sukarnos political influence in the country, and left the Army as the controlling political faction. Improvement in US-Indonesian relationships is expected however, the situation is still too clouded to predict the degree of improvement. This thesis concludes that the US should pursue a watch and wait attitude with no immediate change in its foreign policy toward Indonesia. It also concludes that careful consideration in US strategic planning should be given to the implications which will result if Indonesia becomes a Communist country.

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  • Government and Political Science

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