PALS: HICHAM ISIS Blowback: Indonesia & SEA in the Crosshairs?

An estimated 30,000 foreign fighters have joined the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL in its campaign to establish a new Caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Indonesian fighters, as well as others from Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, have joined the fight. Religious fanaticism is prevalent in every country. Despite growing in interest in ISIS, Indonesia does a pretty good job of maintaining a balanced society that welcomes all religions and races. It has one of the fastest growing economies on the planet with excellent potential for investment and growth in almost every sector.

Ambassador La Porta will examine the foreign fighter problem and the implications for Indonesia and Southeast Asia, together with what the Jakowi government and others are trying to do about this latest attraction for young Muslims. Ambassador La Porta retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in the fall of 2003 after 38 years of service in the Department of State and an overall U.S. Government career of 44 years. He was president of the United States-Indonesia Society (USINDO) from 2004 through 2007 and is presently (pro bono) president of the new Malaysia – American Foundation.

During his time in the Foreign Service, he served as Ambassador to Mongolia (1997-2000) and Political Advisor to the Commander of NATO Forces in Southern Europe, Naples, Italy (2000-03). He also was stationed overseas in Indonesia (twice), Malaysia, New Zealand, and Turkey. He has also worked extensively on the Philippines as executive director to the Special Envoy for the Multilateral Assistance Initiative/Philippine Assistance Program, on Cambodia as director of the Office of Cambodian Genocide Investigations of the Department of State, and on the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands while stationed in Washington, DC.

David Day is one of the region’s leading international legal practitioners, with special emphasis on Asia. He is a frequent speaker, facilitator, trainer and media commentator & host on international business, foreign policy, geopolitics and legal topics involving the Asia/Pacific Region.

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