ASPI suggests
5 Apr 2014|

Jokowi for President

We’re kicking off this week with a suggestion to look at the testimonies of a range of US Asia experts for the US–China Economic and Security Review Commission. Of interest to Strategist readers are testimonies on China and evolving security dynamics in East Asia, China’s military modernisation and its implications for the US, and US–China cybersecurity issues, available as transcript or audio file.

Indonesia’s legislative election is on next Wednesday 9 April, the outcome of which will have some bearing on the future of Australia–Indonesia diplomatic relations. Here’s a quick ABC primer on how these elections work and an Economist piece on what they’ll mean for the presidency. For more in-depth analysis, check out New Mandala’s ‘Indonesia Votes’ feature with stories on the latest polls on the July presidential race and a profile on Jokowi, the man tipped to be Indonesia’s new leader.

Our podcast partners over at the Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) have released the inaugural edition of Sea Control’s ‘East Atlantic’ series (ASPI being the lead for their ‘Asia Pacific’ segments). For this episode, Alexander Clarke from the UK’s Phoenix Think Tank discusses the challenges and misconceptions of the F-35 program with Steve George, a former engineer with the F-35 program and Royal Navy veteran. For more Sea Control podcasts, see here.

Our next pick is a Wall Street Journal column penned by former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in which he outlines how to deal with Russia. According to Gates, the only way to deal with Putin’s ambitions is for the ‘West also to play a strategic long game’. There’ll be costs to a hardened stance towards Russia, he argues, but ‘[t]acit acceptance of settling old revanchist scores by force is a formula for ongoing crises and potential armed conflict, whether in Europe, Asia or elsewhere.’

If you’re interested in North Korea, here’s the video of a panel discussion on new thinking on diplomacy towards DPRK. Shin-wha Lee (Korea University), Feng Zhu (Peking University) and Mark Fitzpatrick (International Institute for Strategic Studies) discuss South Korean, Chinese and American approaches, respectively. Of note to alliance scholars is Fitzpatrick’s presentation on alliance coordination and US–Republic of Korea cooperation on North Korea policy, starting from 1:00:17 (YouTube).

Reminder: the Future Strategic Writers Competition is on again this year. Sponsored by Australian Defence Business Review and run by the journal Security Challenges, the competition invites young scholars or professionals under 35 to submit articles or comments by Friday 1 August on security challenges facing Australia and the region. Winners are awarded AUD$2,500 so get writing! More details here.

Natalie Sambhi is an analyst at ASPI and editor of The Strategist. Image courtesy of Flickr user Eduardo M.C.