It would be a brave person indeed to declare that 2016, for better or for worse, was not an interesting year for both Indonesia and the world. The “Brexit” vote, Donald J Trump’s upset presidential victory and security problems at home including a terrorist attack in Jakarta a year ago and naval skirmishes with China – among many other issues at home and abroad – riveted our attention and will continue to do so as we walk together into 2017 with this latest edition of Strategic Review.
Among the many events that occurred last year, the surprise election of Trump arguably trumps them all. There is no telling what the impact will be on American domestic policy or, more importantly for Indonesia, on American foreign policy. A trio of contributors looks at what is in store for the world, in particular for Asia-Pacific, for the next four years: the good, the bad and the ugly – but not necessarily in that order. How Indonesia emerges on Trump’s radar in the wake of Barack Obama, an adopted son with plenty of time for the archipelago and Southeast Asia, remains to be seen.
Staying at home, we have a bevy of Indonesian experts exploring crucial domestic issues ranging from our pluralistic, tolerant brand of Islam, to indigenous land rights, territorial boundaries in the South China Sea, food self-sufficiency and military weapons procurement.
As if that’s not enough to occupy us this quarter, we, as always, do a deep dive into international affairs. Our esteemed contributors take close looks at the future of Thailand following the death of the revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the controversial new president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, and provide a riveting comparison of the judicial systems of Indonesia, the United States and China.
Our editorial team always strives to keep you engaged with Indonesian and world affairs, and once again we feel our first edition of 2017 passes the test. On behalf of the staff, I thank you for joining us for another year of meaningful discussion and debate.
Dr Hassan Wirajuda