Author(s): Ken Ward
It is often said that no country is more important to Australia than Indonesia. Yet the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is just the latest in a long line of crises that have marred relations between Canberra and Jakarta. Does Australia really need to do more to strengthen its ties with Indonesia, as some experts suggest? Have we 'squandered' opportunities to improve relations? In this penetrating analysis, Ken Ward argues that Australian governments and their critics need to be more realistic about an Australia-Indonesia relationship that will always be crisis-prone and volatile.
Ken Ward left the Australian government in 2005 after a career in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Office of National Assessments. His last government appointment was as Senior Indonesia Analyst at the Office of National Assessments. Since then, he has worked as a researcher on Indonesian terrorism and other Indonesian subjects, and has written extensively on the relationship between Australia and Indonesia.