BLUF

To develop a meaningful relationship with Indonesia, both Australia and the US need cultural sensitivity and a good understanding of Indonesian domestic issues and concerns.

Summary

The United States is working to improve defence cooperation with Indonesia. In recent meetings, the respective ministers agreed to strengthen defence capabilities. America also supported Indonesian military purchases to achieve Minimum Essential Force Training. The US will also assist in providing training for maritime defence. The US Government is supporting investment in Indonesian digital, infrastructure and energy and using the Development Finance Corporation to support private-sector interest. Indonesia, as a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, does not intend to let the US draw it into a conflict with China. Indonesia would prefer to work with both China and the US. As a predominately Muslim country, Trump’s handling of the Israeli -Palestinian issue is a possible stumbling block. Indonesian President Jokowi said that Indonesia wanted the US to be a ‘true friend’, but that this partnership should not be taken ‘for granted’. Further, the relationship should be cultivated through serious efforts aimed at mutual understanding and ‘concrete cooperation’.