Different Routes to Common Goals
By 1968 it was clear to the US and Indonesian governments that their basic fears and goals converged in most important respects. Military alliances were anathema to Indonesia but remained the keystone of US security policy. Indonesia’s interest in joining the world market economy was hedged with fears that established capitalist powers might dominate its domestic market. President Suharto’s government moved quickly to reinstate Indonesia’s “indepen-dent and active” foreign policy as originally conceived by former Vice President Mohammad Hatta. The administration of President Richard M. Nixon represented for many Indonesians the apex of the bilateral relationship. Indonesian suspicions were deeply felt, however, and US diplomats learned quickly that the slightest suggestion that Indonesia might follow the US lead could bring strong reactions. Indonesia’s most prominent multilateral role in the coming years may be at the United Nations. Indonesia’s liberalization program and the resulting growth in manufacturing transformed its trade relationship with the United States.