Evan A. Laksmana

Evan A. Laksmana

Senior Researcher, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta

Dr Evan A. Laksmana was a Wang Gungwu Visiting Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He is also a senior researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This handout photo taken on 2 December 2021 and released by the Indonesian fleet command Koarmada I on 4 December 2021 shows the ASEAN countries' navy ships off the waters of Andaman during a joint exercise between the Indonesian Navy, the Russian Navy and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members. (Indonesian Fleet Command Koarmada I/AFP)

Stuck in second gear: Indonesia’s strategic dilemma in the Indo-Pacific

Indonesia's strategic resources and political leadership are heavily directed inwards, leaving little bandwidth to invest in options beyond the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) to address Indo-Pacific strategic challenges. For pressing challenges, whether over the South China Sea, Myanmar or other Indo-Pacific flashpoints like Taiwan, Indonesia needs to invest in non-ASEAN options as well. Furthermore, it would help to have a "centralised hub" under the president’s office to coordinate its strategies.
An Indonesian Naval cadets uses binoculars as he monitors the signal from the KRI Diponegoro-365 during a joint excercise on guarding Indonesia's borders, in the North Natuna sea, Riau islands, Indonesia, 1 October 2021. (Antara Foto/Muhammad Adimaja/via Reuters)

Indonesia's response to China’s incursions in North Natuna Sea unsatisfactory: Indonesian academic

Indonesian academic Evan A. Laksmana notes that China has subjected Indonesia to maritime grey zone tactics in the South China Sea, attempting to change the strategic equation at sea and beyond without provoking a direct conflict. While Chinese incursions into the North Natuna Sea in Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) have increased, Indonesia has kept mum and appears unprepared to counter these actions. Laksmana examines the reasons behind Indonesian policymakers' reserved response.