One Year On, Jokowi’s Foreign Policy Still Lacks Purpose

By: Asrudin Azwar & Yohanes Sulaiman | The Jakarta Globe | October 13, 2015

Seorang prajurit Lanal Sabang berjaga di depan Kapal 'Silver Sea 2' dari Thailand di Pangkalan TNI AL Sabang, Pulau Sabang, Aceh, Senin (12/10)

An Indonesian Marine guards a Thai ship seized on suspicion of involvement in illegal fishing operations, in Subang, Aceh. (Antara Photo/Regina Safri)

This month marks the end of the Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla administration’s first year in office, which is a good moment to examine the effectiveness of the president’s policies. Joko’s foreign policy plans — supposedly guided by his vision of Indonesia’s role as a ‘Global Maritime Axis’ — had been particularly promising, but what has happened to them?

In his inauguration address last year, Joko stated that Indonesia, as the third-most populous democracy, the most populous Muslim-majority country and the largest economy in Southeast Asia, would keep pursuing the “free and active” foreign policy of old, but backed by stronger defensive capabilities. Continue reading