The Enduring Strategic Trinity: Explaining Indonesia's Geopolitical Architecture
Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 95-116, June 2011
22 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2012 Last revised: 25 Nov 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2011
This paper seeks to describe and assess the geopolitical architecture of Indonesia as the largest archipelagic state in the world. It makes two main inter-related arguments. First, Indonesia’s geographical traits suggest that it could be both a source of weakness and vulnerability as much as it brings enormous potential for political, economic, and even military power. Second, the historical origins and conceptual foundations of ‘geopolitics’ as a policy theme suggest that Indonesia’s geopolitical architecture is based on three building blocks the ‘strategic trinity’: geostrategy (the military and security dimensions), geoeconomics (the resource and economic dimensions), and geopolitics (the social and political dimensions). While these arguments are not novel in themselves, this paper represents among the first attempts to systematically analyse and assess Indonesia’s geographical traits and how they shape the country’s strategic thinking, foreign policy, and national security system. The paper will also consider how Indonesia’s geopolitical architecture could help explain the country’s resurgent interest in the Indian Ocean Region in recent years.
Keywords: Indonesian Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Geopolitical Architecture, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean
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