Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

U.S. Policy toward Southeast Asia under President Donald Trump: Continuity or Change?

July 27, 2018 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm Asia/Jakarta

are pleased to invite you to an Open Forum on:


U.S. Policy toward Southeast Asia under President Donald Trump:

Continuity or Change?




 Friday, July 27, 2018

14:30 16:00

(Registration starts at 13:00, lunch provided)



Meeting Room at Kantin Diplomasi, 2nd Floor

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia

Jalan Taman Pejambon No. 6, Central Jakarta 10110


In the Shangri-La Dialogue last month, Secretary Mattis expressed United States’ commitment to these Southeast Asian allies through a “free and open Indo-Pacific” (FOIP). Within the same month, President Trump chose Singapore as a location to hold the historical U.S.-North Korea meeting, further showing the region’s importance to the U.S. Having had a long history of important security and economic ties with Southeast Asia, the U.S. tries to uphold their relationship through high-level diplomatic gestures and reassurances under the current administration. President Trump himself has traveled to the region twice on top of other numerous visits from high-level cabinet members.

Despite this, pundits argue that the U.S. policy changes towards Southeast Asia are significant, as shown by the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – that includes four ASEAN countries, U.S.’s strong focus to East Asia, and the growing economic protectionism as brought upon by the inwardly-focused “America First” policy. At the same time, the power play between U.S. and China in Southeast Asia is becoming more evident. Policy makers across the region are now bracing for a fallout from a U.S.-China trade war and trying to balance the two big power influences in the region; all this while searching for the transnational cooperation deeply needed to address longstanding issues in the increasingly interdependent region.

This forum will discuss: how committed is the U.S. to the Southeast Asia region? In what ways – relevant to Asia – has the Trump administration revised U.S. national security strategy and thus, defense and foreign policy? What might this mean for Indonesia and other Southeast Asian states? What role does Asia in general and Southeast Asia in particular play in the administration’s strategy and policy? How does the U.S. balance their inward-looking “America First” policy and their policy engagement in Southeast Asia under the Indo-Pacific strategy? Given Southeast Asia’s increasing cooperation with China, how will the U.S. effectively hold, sustain, and cultivate the region’s interest and trust? What is Indonesia’s role in all of this?

To discuss these questions, USINDO and Policy Analysis and Development Agency (BPPK) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is delighted to host two experts to share their insight in this Open Forum: Dr. Siswo Pramono, Head of Policy Analysis and Development Agency at The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and Prof. William M. Wise, Practitioner-in-Residence, Southeast Asia Studies at School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkin University. This event represents a second track, informal forum to increase public awareness about foreign affairs and all ideas expressed in the discussion are personal opinions. Please join us for this informative event.


To register, please kindly RSVP, or email to no later than Thursday, July 26 at 12.00 PM to attend this Open Forum.


Speakers’ Bio:

Professor William M. Wise is Practitioner-in-Residence, Southeast Asia Studies at School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), John Hopkins University. Previously, he served as the Deputy Director of Southeast Asia Studies at SAIS, John Hopkins University. Prof. Wise’s career in national security affairs spans more than 30 years. He was the former Deputy National Security Adviser to the Vice President, Chief of Policy at the U.S. Pacific Command, and Deputy Director for Policy Planning (East Asia and Pacific) in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Colonel, USAF (Ret.). Prof. Wise also held various positions in the U.S. intelligence community and is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel. He is an adviser to the Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, the National Commission on Terrorism and the Deutsch Commission on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He is the president of The Sorrento Group, a defense and foreign affairs consulting firm.

Prof. Wise was a fellow The Johns Hopkins University SAIS’s Foreign Policy Institute, adjunct professor at the Practice of International Affairs at the George Washington University, and a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He has a degree from Amherst College and received his MA in American Studies from University of Hawai’i.


Dr. Siswo Pramono, SH, LLM., PhD is currently the Director General/Head of Policy Analysis and Development Agency (PADA) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. He was the Director/Head of Center of Policy Analysis and Development for the Asia Pacific and Africa Regions at Policy Analysis and Development Agency. He served at the Indonesian Missions in Bonn, Germany, and the Indonesian Embassy in TheHague, Netherland, where he was also appointed as the adviser at Permanent Representation of the Republic of Indonesia to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Before his appointment as DG of PADA, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Berlin,Germany. He received his Ph.D on Political Science from The Australia National university, Canberra, and has a Master Degree from Monash University, Australia.