Indonesia Defense Strategy Towards Indo-Pacific (Case Study: The ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific)

Devindra Oktaviano, Jonni Mahroza, Helda Risman


The emergence of China's economy and military vis-a-vis US's strategy to regain its hegemony has shifted the global political constellation focus to the Southeast Asia region. The recent circumstance in the South China Sea followed by the intensification of the Indo-Pacific strategy, has not only, forcefully put the Southeast Asia region as a theater of China-US geopolitical rivalry, but also increasingly set the complexity of problems to the region. Responding to this context, on June 23, 2019, ASEAN adopted the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific as foreign policy guidance for its member-states, including Indonesia as an initiator. The objective of this paper is to discuss Indonesia's strategy beyond the ASEAN Outlook. Theoretical framework of regional security complex and regional governance used in explaining the security architecture and political contestation among Southeast Asian countries, and how it influences their stances in ASEAN’s role as regional governance within its political mechanism in downplaying Indo-Pacific Strategy. Strategy theory used to analyze how Indonesia develop its strategy to initiate and promote the Outlook beyond its rational interest. Indonesia's role in the initiation and promotion of the ASEAN Outlook is played within the normative framework to upholding persistent regional stability and collective balancing towards the cogency of the Indo-Pacific strategy. Consequently, this condition impels a necessity for Indonesia to build its defense capability without setting aside the free and active policy.

Keywords: Indo-Pacific, Regional Governance, Security Complex, Southeast Asia; Strategy, The ASEAN Outlook

DOI: 10.7176/IAGS/80-04

Publication date: February 29th 2020

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