|Why are we so good?||Sintesi|
Jul 15, 2002 12:04 PM
|Needs to be acknowledged. We are the good guys. Not perfect, but in the large scheme of things generally benevolent and humanitarian.
How nice is this?
The United States has a strong national security interest in Indonesia and the two nations share a long history of friendship and mutual support. As the world's fourth most populous state, and largest Muslim country, Indonesia can play a fundamentally important role in efforts to combat terrorism and maintain political stability in Southeast Asia. Its 220 million people are a major market for U.S. goods. Indonesia's importance also stems from its enormous natural resources, rich biodiversity, and strategic location across key shipping lanes linking Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Indonesia faces remarkable challenges as it takes on three major tasks: economic reform, a transition to democracy after 30 years of military authoritarian rule, and a massive decentralization of power to nearly 400 local governments. The task has not been easy, and the country continues to suffer through a period of political and economic uncertainty. The budget is in crisis, the economy fragile, and new political leadership has only begun to provide some sense of stability to what has been a turbulent ride since the fall of Suharto in May 1998.
The turbulence is reflected in the numbers. More than 1.3 million Indonesians have been displaced by ethnic, religious, and separatist violence. Economic growth dropped from 4.8% to 3.5% in 2001, inflation has grown to 12%, and the budget deficit is close to four percent of GDP. Indonesia's policy makers continue to be slow in seizing opportunities to implement necessary economic structural reforms such as bank and corporate restructuring, privatization, and fiscal reform. Rising unemployment has pushed many people below the poverty line, increasing the appeal of radical and extremist elements. Corruption, exacerbated by a weak justice sector, permeates all levels of society, politics, and the economy, seriously undermining reform efforts. Declining government resources for the health system imperils many Indonesians, and HIV/AIDS is spreading at an alarming rate among high-risk populations.
At the same time, the country and its people have demonstrated remarkable resilience. Decentralization has moved forward-two million government officials and 20,000 government offices have been transferred from central to local control. In August 2001, the presidency transferred peacefully and constitutionally from Abdurrahman Wahid to Megawati Sukarnoputri, ending a long period of political and economic turmoil that had stymied reform efforts, tainted relations with the IMF, and discouraged foreign investment. The parliament has begun to play an increasingly active role, considering more than 100 pieces of legislation including laws on bank secrecy and money laundering. Civil society is flourishing and an independent media has grown exponentially. The reduction of massive energy subsidies is easing pressure on the national budget.
The events of September 11th and subsequent actions to combat terrorism have had special implications for U.S. policy interests in Indonesia. Indonesia's response to the global war on terrorism has been mixed. Small but vocal militant groups were outspoken in their initial reaction to the war in Afghanistan; moderate voices, and the government itself, have increasingly gained footing and are working to restore the image of Indonesia as a country tolerant of diversity and committed to cooperating in dealing with terrorism.
The USAID Program
USAID will devote $74,272,000 DA and $50,000,000 ESF to its FY 2002 program and requests $71,472,000 DA and $60,000,000 ESF for FY 2003. The USAID program in Indonesia supports all four Agency Pillars: Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade; Global Health; Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance; and the Global Development Alliance (GDA
|because you want their natural resources - nm||MJ|
Jul 16, 2002 1:50 AM
|Trade MJ, Trade. What's good for us can be good for them. nm||Sintesi|
Jul 16, 2002 4:46 AM
|yeah I think Indonesia has a good steel industry - d'oh!! nm||MJ|
Jul 16, 2002 5:23 AM
|This is good in the long run. Doh! back at you. nm||Sintesi|
Jul 16, 2002 5:26 AM
|We are nice to Indonesia because Israel isn't after their land.||Leisure|
Jul 16, 2002 2:46 AM
|If Israel were you could imagine things would be quite different.|| |