Languages of Security in the Asia-Pacific

College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

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Indonesian – Komunitas Keamanan

May 27th, 2011 · No Comments · Indonesian, Security Community

Komunitas Keamanan

Relates to security community

Komunitas Keamanan ASEAN is the Indonesian translation of ASEAN Security Community (ASC), a concept introduced by Indonesia in 2003. Since its introduction, the ASC has been considered a breath of fresh air, both for ASEAN and for Indonesian foreign policy. The proposal was made as Indonesia assumed the chairmanship of the ASEAN Standing Committee for 2004?, indicating that under Jakarta’s leadership ASEAN would pay more attention to the political and security dimensions of the international agenda in Southeast Asia.  It has been seen as infusing ASEAN have a new sense of purpose, particularly as it tries to deal with urgent current needs for enhancing regional security in the face of growing challenges. For Indonesia, it continues to present an opportunity to affirm its position and role as a key member of ASEAN.

From reviewing documents and conducting interviews with observers and officials from the foreign affairs ministry, it appears that ASC has a long way to go if it is to reach the stage where the European Union (EU) is today as a full-fledged economic community, in which member parties are highly unlikely to pursue armed conflict with one another. Some even state their uncertainty if they want to have EU as the desired model. They are aware of the wide disparities among the 10 members on the economic and political fronts, not to mention their varying cultural identities.  ASC members, however, have come to realize the extensive security issues at stake in the region, such as the maritime security situation (piracy), people smuggling, narcotics trafficking, money laundering and other cross-border crimes.

Foundational to the ASC concept is the principle of non-intervention as a means to maintaining trust on security issues. Deterrence, which characterizes western strategic thinking, would never be employed in ASC.  Assertiveness seems an unproductive means in ASC.  When Indonesia proposed a regional peacekeeping force for conflict prevention and resolution in ASEAN meeting in 2004, it was responded with bafflement.  Ass some ASEAN countries remain wary of external intervention in their domestic affairs, they question how Indonesia, which has separatist problems in the two provinces of Aceh and Papua, can be so eager about risking its territorial integrity being scrutinized by outside parties.

The ASEAN way of dealing with problems in another ASEAN state is menawarkan (to offer) suggestions by ‘orang tua’ (literally “old man”) which is considered wise, tactful and have prowess. In the case of Burma, for instance, it was Ex-Foreign Minister Ali Alatas who was sent to talk to the military on the ASEAN concerns regarding democracy in the country.


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