On October 26, Indonesian President Joko Widodo will arrive in Washington for his first U.S. visit as leader of the largest country in Southeast Asia. In advance of and during the visit, Obama administration officials probably will stress the increasingly close ties between Indonesia and the United States, building on the comprehensive partnership signed by the two nations. But in reality, the U.S.-Indonesia relationship has been more of a disappointment than a triumph over the past seven years.
In a CFR working paper I released earlier this year, I examine the failures of the pivot in Southeast Asia, and particularly the struggles to build ties with Indonesia. I also offer recommendations for revitalizing U.S. ties with Indonesia and the rest of peninsular Southeast Asia. You can see the entire paper here: The Pivot in Southeast Asia: Balancing Interests and Values.