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Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, is undergoing a profound transformation that could lead to a variety of outcomes, from the consolidation of democracy to return to authoritarianism or military rule, to radical Islamic rule, or to violent disintegration.The stakes are high, for Indonesia is the key to Southeast Asian security. The authors examine the trends and dynamics that are driving Indonesia’s transformation, outline possible strategic futures and their implications for regional stability, and identify options the United States might pursue in the critical challenge of influencing Indonesia’s future course.Steps the United States might take now include support for Indonesia’s stability and territorial integrity, reestablishment of Indonesian-U.S. military cooperation and interaction, aid in rebuilding a constructive Indonesian role in regional security, and support for development of a regional crisis reaction force. A continued strong U.S. presence in the Asia-Pacific region will reinforce the U.S. role as regional balancer.Other review:From http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PBZ/is_4_83/ai_109268892/Indonesia’s Transformation and the Stability of Southeast Asia is a report the RAND Corporation prepared for the U.S. Air Force to assess the rapid changes occurring in Indonesia and to recommend policies to the U.S. Government and the Air Force in response. The book is an excellent introduction to the complex situation that followed the end of the Suharto regime. Although its depth of coverage is rather limited by its length, it includes numerous footnotes and an extensive bibliography, which covers five pages and includes numerous academic papers, periodical articles, and reports from international conferences. Sources come not only from the Western world but also from Indonesia itself. This breadth of coverage improves the quality of Angel Rabasa’s and Peter Chalk’s summary and provides a valuable source for anyone seeking to further investigate the subject.The report begins with a succinct summary of the situation in Indonesia through 2001 and includes the growing pains of the post-Suharto political system; the conflict and United Nations intervention in East Timor; and the separatist pressures in several provinces. This summary also provides several recommendations that focus on improving the country’s stability and regional influence and U.S. Air Force policies toward Indonesia. The summary concludes with a caveat recommending that the Air Force continue to prepare for the worst-case scenario of complete Indonesian collapse. The remainder of the report elaborates on the points that the initial summary contains.The publication also includes chapters detailing Indonesia’s regional significance; its recent and future challenges; and opportunities for U.S. influence. Each chapter effectively presents its subject matter and is well documented, allowing the report to serve as a useful introductory publication to the region and a guide to further research.The only real criticism one might level against the report is its tone. In an attempt to achieve currency and relevance in 2001, Rabasa and Chalk chose to write in a journalistic style, which makes the piece read much like a long article in a current periodical. While this approach might have been effective in 2001, today it reads like old news. Despite this shortcoming, the authors effectively summarize a complex situation in a relatively short space. Therefore this report remains of value to the military professional as an introduction to the region and as a comprehensive bibliography.LCDR Kyle B. Beckman, USN, Fort Leavenworth, KansasSource: Google booksRead More

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