f_0016385_14183

f_0016385_14183 - A Smart-Power Partnership with Indonesia...

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The Ambassadors REVIEW 26 A Smart-Power Partnership with Indonesia Cameron R. Hume United States Ambassador to Indonesia Charting a New Course ndonesia has reached a critical point in its history. Ten years after becoming a democracy it has turned back threats of terrorism and separatism, decentralized power, and achieved economic stability and growth. Now its leaders look to the future, shifting resources toward education and asserting democracy as part of foreign policy. Just before the G-20 meetings in Washington last November, President Yudhoyono called for closer US-Indonesian relations “based on partnership and common interests.” In February, Secretary Clinton came to Jakarta and called for the United States and Indonesia, the world’s third and fourth largest countries, to chart a course toward a comprehensive partnership. Her visit on her first trip to Asia as Secretary of State had clear symbolic importance, and her meeting with President Yudhoyono opened the dialogue at the highest level. Both inside and outside official meetings, she demonstrated the importance of smart power, balancing national security concerns and people-to-people diplomacy. In the official meetings Secretary Clinton made important policy commitments: to double the number of Indonesian students in the United States, to foster linkages between US and Indonesian educational institutions, to open a Peace Corps program in Indonesia, to negotiate a comprehensive science and technology agreement, to support Indonesia’s Coral Triangle Initiative and to cooperate on the environment and to explore expanding cooperation on health. In her own words, “Building a partnership, a comprehensive partnership with Indonesia, is a critical step on behalf of the United States’ commitment to smart power.” Outside official meetings Secretary Clinton deployed smart power directly. She engaged millions of Indonesian youth and families by appearing on the Dahsyat! (awesome, in English) TV morning show. She had an open dialogue with human rights activists, Muslim intellectuals, environmentalists, parliamentarians and community leaders at a civil society dinner. She visited a poor Jakarta neighborhood with local leaders to see how a USAID environmental project makes a difference by providing clean water. Her obvious openness and warmth created opportunities for Americans and Indonesians to develop deeper, friendlier relations. Forming a Comprehensive Partnership Diplomacy relies on dialogue. Americans want to get down to practical matters, to address specific questions and to agree on action plans; Indonesians want to set the framework, often in the most general terms, and turn to concrete questions only later. I
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f_0016385_14183 - A Smart-Power Partnership with Indonesia...

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