The notion of the “Asian Century” is not all positive, as rapid economic growth and growing influence leads to growing strategic uncertainty. As Washington and Beijing seem set for a new era of rivalry across the Pacific, Jakarta will be a valuable partner. What impact will China’s growing prosperity have on the Asia-Pacific region? How should ASEAN approach this issue, and what role does Australia play? Is Australia’s alliance with the US to its benefit or detriment? Will Australia need to choose between the US and China or can it be friends with both? Indonesia still lags behind its neighbours in defence spending and military capabilities — will this leave it in a vulnerable position? Which power will Indonesia side with: the US or China?
Lieutenant General ( Ret ) Agus Widjojo
Lieutenant General ( Ret ) Agus Widjojo graduated from Indonesian Armed Forces Academy in 1970. He served tours as Staff Officer in the International Commission for Control and Supervision in Vietnam 1973, and in the Indonesian Battalion to the United Nations Emergency Force II in Sinai Middle East in 1975. He retired from active duty in 2003. His two last active duty assignments before entering retirement were Chief-of-Staff for Territorial Affairs for the Commanding General TNI, and Deputy Speaker in The National Consultative Assembly representing the Military and National Police Faction. His works during his appointment as Chief of Staff for Territorial Affairs were closely related to the democratisation process and military reform in Indonesia in 1998 through 2004. He holds Master’s degree in Military Art and Science from the US Army Command and General Staff College, National Security from US National Defense University and Public Administration from George Washington University. He was a Deputy in the Presidential Delivery Unit. He was also a commissioner in the Commission of Truth and Friendship Indonesia – Timor Leste, and currently sits as member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Peace and Democracy at Udayana University and Senior Fellow at CSIS Jakarta.
Gary Hogan is Director for National Security at KPMG Australia. He was the Australian Defence Attaché to the Republic of Indonesia from 2009 to 2012. He has also held Attaché positions in Papua New Guinea and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
A miltary officer for 30 years, Gary served with US Special Operations Command during the 1991 Gulf War. Gary was Director-General Scientific and Technical Analysis for the Defence Department 2005 to 2007. He speaks Mandarin, Vietnamese, Bahasa Indonesia and Pidgin English.
Gary is a former Professor of Grand Strategy at the US National Defense University. He is a graduate of the US Naval War College, the Chinese National Defence University and was the first Australian to graduate from Indonesia’s National Resilience Institute.
His opinion pieces on Asian affairs have been published by the Baltimore Sun, the Lowy Institute for International Policy and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. He is also a commentator on Indonesia-Australia relations for ABC television and radio.
Jim Della-Giacoma is a visiting fellow in the Department of Social and Political Change in the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific. His most recent research and writing has been related to Indonesia’s elections and democratisation process.
In the last two decades, Jim has been a Reuters correspondent, UN official, and head of the International Crisis Group’s operations in Southeast Asia while based in Jakarta. He has studied Indonesian at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana in Salatiga and taken part in the Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) in Jambi in 1991-92.
A brief account of his time on AIYEP “Different Pond, Different Fish” was published in KYD Journal in April 2014. He is a regular commentator and essayist whose opinion pieces over the years have been also been published in CNN GPS, Crikey, Foreign Policy, Indonesia, The Lowy Interpreter, New Mandala, Nikkei Asian Review, Strategic Review Journal, and World Politics Review. Jim collects his writing on his personal blog Reflections on Southeast Asia. You can also follow him on Twitter at @jimdella
Natalie Sambhi is an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and editor of ASPI’s blog The Strategist. Natalie’s research interests include political and security affairs in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. She has previously worked at Department of Defence as an analyst.
Natalie was a Hedley Bull Scholar at the Australian National University where she gained her MA (International Relations)/MDiplomacy. She also holds a BA (Asian Studies) (Hons) from the University of Western Australia. Natalie is currently the vice-president of the ACT branch of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA). In 2010, she founded Security Scholar, a blog on security and defence issues.
You can follow Natalie on Twitter at @SecurityScholar. She enjoys travelling regularly to Indonesia, improving her Indonesian language skills and playing the cello.