POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CRISIS
A coherent and delimited mission for the armed forces is only one of the areas of reform in which we must hope Indonesians will work out their own future. Reattracting capital and regenerating first rate business momentum in a fresh transparent environment could take five years. Business, when faced with necessity, actually seems to modernize its practices faster than other institutions. Reforming and professionalizing the army could be achieved in five to ten years. Recovering lost ground in education and achieving new plateaus of learning and skill could be done in ten to fifteen years. Rescuing the court system from corruption, and nourishing rule of law, could reach significant effectiveness in fifteen years, or at best ten. If Indonesia with leadership, luck, and patience can achieve substantial progress by sustained effort in these tasks, its fifth successive democratic election in 2019 could see it standing proud among the worlds democracies. With synergy among all enterprises mentioned, that goal could be achieved by its fourth, or even third, such election.
AMERICAN INTERESTS AND LINES OF POLICY
Example is the best advice. America, if it is true to itself as a federal republic, an open society under the rule of law, with competitive enterprise and transparent procedures, will continue to have a magnetic power of attraction in Indonesian national behavior.
I believe we should recognize that our major interests there are few and simple. One is ideals; they can be summarized in the thought that both freedom and development advance fastest when they are allowed to be mutually reinforcing. The other is concrete: it can be summarized in the fact that no hostile technology or power can soon make the strait of Malacca as danger-fraught as the strait of Taiwan. The sea lanes through Indonesia stand for our geostrategic interest there, especially the flow of oil to allies in Japan and Korea. With these factors in mind, we must quietly help Indonesia to realize a reformed political economy that will allow it both to fulfill its democratic dream and to resume its role as the center of gravity in a reorganized ASEAN.
In what ways may we help?
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