Indonesia introduces new defense strategy
The Jakarta Post
The government has announced a new defense strategy focusing on three priorities, namely becoming a global maritime fulcrum (GMF), the national minimum essential forces (MEF) and the state defense program for the next 10 years.
On Thursday, the Defense Ministry elaborated plans included in a newly released white paper to foreign military attachÃ©s. The event was attended by 50 military attachÃ©s from 41 countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, the US, Timor Leste, Pakistan, India, Australia and a number of European countries.
The Defense Ministry's director general of strategic defense, Maj. Gen. Yoedhi Swastanto, said that the new document was a revised version after incorporating input from domestic and international sources.
'The new white paper consists of a new defense strategy that the government aims to accomplish, including a list of threats, defense development and the state defense program,' he said, adding that the document was available to the public and aimed to improve trust among Indonesia and other countries.
The previous version of the white paper was welcome with input from a range of parties.
Yoedhi added that the strengthening of defense and maritime diplomacy were also important issues and were included in the latest version of the white paper.
In the new strategy plan, the government has emphasized its commitment to meet MEF in its weaponry systems, but has no intention to prepare for war. The stronger weaponry system is aimed at protecting the country's integrity and sovereignty.
'[To build our weaponry system], we will prioritize the weapons from national industry in order to support the national economy. The strategic industry should be strong, independent and skillful to compete with other countries,' Yoedhi said.
The government also revealed its target of seeing 100 million of people receive quasi-military training through the state defense program over the next ten years.
'The program aims to raise awareness and reduce the influence of radicalization among citizens. We will disseminate the values of state defense in educational, workplace and neighborhood environments,' Yoedhi said.
He added that the state defense program aimed less to confront other nations than to deal with internal or non-traditional threats such as radicalism and terrorism.
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said that currently Indonesia was engaged in conflict with no other countries.
'We are destined to be friends and so be it. Indonesia doesn't have any conflict with other countries and we don't consider our neighbors as a threat. We are friends,' Ryamizard said in his speech during the event on Thursday.
Ryamizard cautioned, however, that the country had increasingly to deal with threats such as terrorism, cyber war, natural disasters, drugs and piracy.
He added his belief that these threats were not particular to Indonesia, but shared by all nations.
'Terrorism is a common ground on which we can work together. This is a common threat all over the world and we should address this issue,' the minister said.
Two previous governments published white papers, under then defense ministers Matori Abdul Djalil in 2003 and Juwono Sudarsono in 2008.
Law No. 3/2002 on national defense stipulates that white papers are a statement of comprehensive defense policy published by the Defense Ministry and distributed to the public, nationally and internationally, in order to generate mutual trust and eliminate conflict.
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