The Indonesian Debacle: What Americans Need to Know and Do

The implications of Indonesia's internal problems go well beyond its boundaries.

Issue: Fall 1998

Something very important is happening in Southeast Asia, but its
significance has yet to register fully in America. Indonesia, the
Brazil of Southeast Asia, is in very deep trouble. It has often been
said that, as the world's fourth-largest country, Indonesia is the
important country America least understands. The last time the United
States paid serious attention to it was in the mid-1960s when, as the
Cold War gripped Southeast Asia, Indonesia came very close to
imploding. For roughly a quarter century after that, the country was
a low profile economic success story, and the anchor of regional
stability in Southeast Asia.

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