Ryamizard Pushing for Indonesian Defense Budget Increase, Citing Shortfall

Jakarta. Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Thursday that the government was committed to boosting the portion of defense spending up to 1.5 percent of Indonesia’s state budget, almost double the current level.

Ryamizard said the Rp 83 trillion ($6.8 billion) allotted this year, although an increase from figures appropriated in previous years, represented only 0.8 percent of the total state budget.

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Analysts Welcome Indonesia’s Plans to Triple Defense Budget

Jakarta. The new government’s plan to bolster the country’s defense spending to almost triple its current budget by 2019 has received support from international relations analysts and military experts in Indonesia.

Luhut Panjaitan, an adviser to President Joko Widodo, said on Tuesday that Indonesia’s defense spending was targeted to increase to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product over the next five years in order to protect the country’s sovereignty and national interests.

“We link to economic growth of about 7 percent … so by 2019, the national defense budget can increase to around $20 billion per annum,” Luhut said, as reported by Reuters on Wednesday.

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Jokowi Spells Out Vision for Indonesia’s “Global Maritime Nexus”

The economic and security conundrum posed by Indonesia’s archipelagic geography is not new. The combination of 17,000 islands with an underfunded navy and poor port infrastructure results in widespread piracy, illegal fishing, and smuggling. The extraordinarily high costs of transporting goods domestically makes it cheaper for Indonesians to consume foreign goods than domestic ones, and makes the nation function more as a collection of weakly integrated economies than as a unified market.

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The Indonesian Maritime Doctrine: Realising the Potential of the Ocean

The maritime doctrine continues the military modernisation agenda begun by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) in 2005. SBY’s plan, the Minimum Essential Force (MEF), aimed to develop a green-water navy capable of patrolling the extent of the Indonesian archipelago by 2024. The Indonesian military (TNI) is currently hampered by outdated weapons systems that make it difficult to effectively protect the country’s territorial waters.

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Indonesia to Buy More Russian Jet Fighters, Patrol Ships

Indonesia plans to buy more than a dozen Russian Sukhoi fighter jets and domestically made, missile-equipped patrol ships as part of a $15 billion five-year campaign to modernize its military, defense officials said on Wednesday.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy has sharply increased its defense budget since 2010 as the military looks to bolster its capacity to protect shipping lanes, ports and maritime boundaries.

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