Jokowi promises to triple
defense, security budget

Presidential candidate Joko “Jokowi” Widodo of the Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) says, if elected president, he will triple the defense and security budget to improve the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police’s professionalism and prestige.

Speaking before hundreds of retired military and police generals on Tuesday, Jokowi unveiled his programs on defense and security issues, which included the modernization of primary weaponry defense system (Alutsista) and increasing military and police personnel.

 “To improve our national security system, I aim to allocate up to 1.5 percent of GDP [gross domestic product] for defense if economic growth stays at least 7 percent,” he said at Balai Kartini convention hall in South Jakarta.

Jokowi said that he would gradually increase the defense budget from U$7.2 billion in 2014 to $20 billion in 2019.

“Up to 75 percent of the budget will be used for routine spending and the remainder for personnel expenditure,” he said.

 Among the programs to improve border security, he aimed to procure and deploy three drones, which, aside from border surveillance, would be tasked to supervise and curb illegal activities on and off shore.

To modernize the Air Force, Jokowi aims to procure new F16 jetfighters, radars, C130 Hercules and M400 Airbus military transportation aircraft.

While saying he aimed to modernize the primary weapon system, Jokowi said he would reduce imports by developing the domestic defense industry.

To curb fraud within the police, he aims to develop IT and ICT-based systems in security and public service at, for example, the traffic police.

“If I am elected president, as the highest leader I will ask TNI and National Police chiefs to carry out these programs. If they fail to meet my target, I will say: ’sorry, but there are many others who can do your job’,” he said.

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