July 2022 JOKOWI ON THE WORLD STAGE Commentary by Wayne Forrest It has been many years since an Indonesian leader actively engaged in global affairs and its current President has scrupulously avoided many international engagements because of his singular focus on improving the nation’s infrastructure and economy. President Jokowi recently departed from this scenario,
May 2022 CHALLENGE TO NEUTRALITY Commentary by Wayne Forrest Since 1966 Indonesia has always often prioritized development over geopolitics. Other than its early years, Indonesia has usually kept a low profile internationally, subscribing to an international, mostly Western-driven, common consensus. Its famed practical neutrality is now being challenged by not just the Ukraine War
February 2022 Reforming the Sembako Economy Although Indonesia actively courts an image of a modernizing economy interested to develop high technologies, such as the electric vehicles, contrasting narratives often occur reminding us that the nation’s underpinning as well as the core interests of its people remain the sembako (9 basic daily necessities): rice, salt,
Tolerance/Intolerance Commentary by Wayne Forrest The uptick of attacks against Asian Americans is a sickening reminder of the intolerance that raises its head all too often in the US. Indonesian Americans have been attacked, as well as Americans with Chinese, Filipino, and other heritages. AICC stands decidedly against these outrageous acts. AICC was established
Bridges Not Barriers February 2021 by Wayne Forrest I often hear the idea that during the past 4 years the US government, apart from its Navy, has not been as engaged with Indonesia or Southeast Asia as many would like. The message: China’s influence grows in the vacuum of a lack of US engagement.
Outlook 2021 January 2021 By Wayne Forrest A large, red-tailed hawk landed on a tree outside my study just as I sat down to write this month's commentary. Some say that if you have a hawk sighting you are ready to take on a larger, more expansive vision of your world. I take it as
E Plurbum Tunggal Ika December 2020 by Wayne Forrest The past month's events reminded me of how often the US and Indonesia can be more alike than they are different. Yes, both countries share a similar motto: E Plurbus Unum, "Out of One Many", for the US; Bhinekka Tunggal Ika, "Unity in Diversity", for
Swing State November 2020 Commentary by Wayne Forrest The US election has been focused on swing states, key places where our two political parties contest for electoral votes every four years. Even more than it may have in the past, the US government now sees Indonesia as a swing state, important in our own
Labor Day 2020 September 2020 Commentary by Wayne Forrest With unemployment at record levels in both the US and Indonesia amidst an ongoing pandemic I've been reflecting on Indonesia's struggle to find meaningful employment for her growing population of 270 million. Of course, our two nations do not share Labor Day: Indonesia observes International
Rays of Hope July 2020 Commentary by Wayne Forrest, President We're close to America's Independence Day, typically a time of public celebrations, parties, and mass gatherings. Of course, this year these events honoring the birth of our democracy are severely hampered by the pandemic. Indonesia modeled its Republic on ours, but only in part.