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  • American Reactions to Indonesia s Role in the Belgrade Conference
American Reactions to Indonesia s Role in the Belgrade Conference
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American Reactions to Indonesia s Role in the Belgrade Conference

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    Those who have followed the history of Indonesia's foreign relations will have been struck by the frequent lack of congruence between the Indonesian conception of the country's posture in international affairs and its perception abroad. The reasons for this are generally complex, and it is undoubtedly as difficult for Indonesians to understand them as it is for other people.

    There have been, however, during the past decade and a half, a number of episodes in the course of Indonesia's foreign relations which have been important in developing this incongruity and which, if fairly analyzed, should help to explain it. Such an episode was the September 1961 Belgrade Conference of non-aligned countries. Mr. Bunnell's account and analysis of the American reaction which it provoked is, I believe, a useful contribution to an understanding of this development, helpful, I would hope, to Indonesians as well as to Americans. The fact that the Soviet Union resumed nuclear testing on the eve of the Belgrade Conference served to ensure that world - and particularly American - interest in the Conference would be keen.

    As one of the three co-sponsors of the Conference - and perhaps also because of the leading role she had played in the Asian-African Conference held at Bandung in 1955 - Indonesia received particular attention. Certainly the image of Indonesia in the United States was defined more clearly by the Belgrade Conference; the fact that the Conference provoked a hostile reaction on the part of some segments of opinion in this country tended to ensure that at the same time that Indonesia's image was becoming clearer it was also being viewed more critically. It should be emphasized that this study is confined primarily to American reactions to the Belgrade Conference and, especially, the American assessment of Indonesia's part in it. No account is given of the proceedings of the Conference as such; nor does Mr. Bunnell attempt to present or explain Indonesia's aims at Belgrade. He devotes the major part of his study to an account of the reaction of the American press and Congress to the Conference, and Indonesia's role in it, and to an assessment of the effect of this reaction on Administration policy towards Indonesia.

    This is an Interim Report, based only on sources available in the United States, and Mr. Bunnell wishes to make clear that his study as here presented is provisional and tentative. Mr. Bunnell is currently in Indonesia pursuing research relating to Indonesia's relations with the United States. It is my hope and expectation that his work there will lead to the publication of a fuller and broader monograph of considerable importance to those interested in Indonesia's foreign relations in general and Indonesian-American relations in particular. - George McT. Kahin, December 20, 1963

    ISBN : 9786028397346
    Author : Frederick P. Bunnell
    Publisher : Equinox Publishing
    Dimension Product : 22.9x15.2x0.6 cm


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