September 4, 2023
JAKARTA – With Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s vision of a more military-capable Indonesia seemingly dovetailing with the United States’ eagerness to forge strong alliances across the Indo-Pacific, analysts are pointing to the inevitability of cozier defense relations, albeit not without some political costs.
In the midst of a sharpening rivalry between the US and China, pragmatism has become an apparent feature among major powers operating in the region. Experts say it can be found in Washington’s strategy, which three years ago saw Prabowo being allowed back into the country after being blacklisted for two decades.
Though both sides may choose to extol the potential of this renewed rapport, recent developments suggest that the US will not lend its support freely, with China already signaling an aversion following last week’s meeting between Prabowo and his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.