Regional Arms Race

Feb 29th, 2008, in News, by

Australia’s regional hegemonic aspirations and Indonesian defence procurements.

Australia

Rahmad Nasution, the Canberra Bureau Chief of Antara, writes that Australia has ambitions to attain regional military supremacy, most clearly evidenced in its efforts to persuade the United States to sell its most technologically advanced plane, the F-22 Raptor, which currently by law the US keeps all to itself.

Rahmad says the new Australian government’s keenness to purchase the Raptor, as well as its plans to renew its naval fleet, is proof that it anticipates a regional arms race, with Indonesia, as well as China and India. antara

Poor Man’s Army

Defence minister Juwono Sudarsono however says Indonesia’s spending on defence, at $4 billion per year, is extremely small in comparison to neighbouring countries. The tiny island state of Singapore spends ten times as much annually, he says.

Juwono Sudarsono
Juwono Sudarsono.

Because of this any suggestion that Indonesia was engaged, or sought to be engaged, in a regional arms race, for example with Australia, was absurd, he said. antara

Arms Acquisitions – America

Frida Berrigan of “Foreign Policy In Focus” however says that of late: fpif.org

Jakarta wants weapons. Lots of them.

Recently the Indonesian air force have sought to purchase Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters (six units at $30 million each) and C-130 Hercules tactical transport planes from the United States, she says.

The United States normalised military relations with Indonesia in 2005, and is no longer concerned about how the weapons it sells may be used, such as against civilian populations in Papua or elsewhere, she says, and the

floodgates have opened.

Juwono Sudarsono seems to agree:

the climate in the US Congress [regarding selling arms to Indonesia] has improved.

He says the United States also offered $16 million in military aid. tempo

Mutammimul Ula
Mutammimul Ula

A politician from the Islamist Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS)), Mutammimul Ula, warns that Indonesia should beware of buying arms from the United States, considering it wasn’t long ago that the ten-year arms embargo was still in place. antara

Arms Acquisitions – Russia

Mutammimul Ula also complains that the F-16’s are comparatively old technology, from the early 1990’s, while Juwono Sudarsono explains that the F-16’s are needed given the supply bottlenecks in Russia with the more state of the art Sukhoi plane, which, after Russian president Vladimir Putin’s visit to Jakarta in September 2007, Indonesia contracted to buy more of.

During Putin’s visit Moscow provided $1 billion in loans for weapons and later in December Indonesia bought Russian medium and short-range missiles, aerial bombs, and other weapons systems, these purchases coming on top of a $192 million spending spree (paid for with palm oil) in 2003 on the Sukhoi and other armaments.

Sukhoi
Sukhoi.

Frida Berrigan says Indonesia is also now hoping for more from its new Russian best friend forever, including six submarines, air defence systems, helicopters, boats, and other systems that could add up to about $3 billion, and this has Washington worried about losing market share and influence.


48 Comments on “Regional Arms Race”

  1. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    @ sputjam

    This is indeed news to me. Monggolian army raiding java? what the heck for? …

    I refuse to babysit you for something you can confirm online.

  2. avatar Sylvester says:

    Yup, Mongolian attacked Java to punish Singhasari. Raden Wijaya used them to attack his enemy but at the end betrayed them. Actually, Javanese never won. The reason that the Mongolian army retreated was because they had to catch the seasonal wind to return to China, otherwise they had to wait one year. It is an example of exaggerated Indo history by Orde Baru.

    Kopassus may be strong in city combat and guerilla tactics. When the country such as the US, Russia, or China attack Indo (this is only example), it will only need one week combined air and naval strikes to wipe out all defences before the army land. Less tough than Iraq or Afghanistan. The problem will be to maintain security such as what is happening in Iraq today.

    The point is, it obvious that the Indo armed forces (TNI) is very weak even can not protect its border. Also, corruption mentality has been very common among Javanese military leaders, Indonesia still one of the most corrupted country. Otherwise, how could a few thousands Dutch could conquered millions on them? So, getting more advanced equipment only is not enough. That at least what I understand from one of my friends from TNI.

  3. avatar sputjam says:

    So monggolian sent a puny army and whacked the hell out of sri vijaya and majapahit and retreated due to heat and humidity and probabaly, nothing to loot and rape. they couldn’t find large cities like those found in china and elsewhere like samarkand/baghdad, so decided not to waste any effort on the java adventure.

  4. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    @ Sylvester

    The Javanese’s Art of War:

    You do not always win with might and strength, we use our brain.

    @ sputjam

    Thanks for google searching for information. Save me times.

    Firstly, you did not even knew the Mongolians ever set foot on our shore. Now you attempt to belittle our valiant Javanese ancestors who protected our shore from invading barbarians. What more can I expect from a Melayu.

    @ Sylvester

    Kopassus may be strong in city combat and guerilla tactics. When the country such as the US, Russia, or China attack Indo (this is only example), it will only need one week combined air and naval strikes to wipe out all defences before the army land. Less tough than Iraq or Afghanistan. The problem will be to maintain security such as what is happening in Iraq today.

    Wishful thinking. Indonesia can easily swallow a country like Australia within a day. When it comes to wit and agility, the ADF and the SAS are boy scouts compared to our regular TNI.

    And do not try to drag China into this. The Chinese is part of our Great Asian race and they would not even bother to invade another country. A survey of the Chinese population, many think the American and Australian are busy bodies, interfering in other countries’ affair.

  5. avatar Janma says:

    Indonesia simply cannot be invaded. We have the knowledge and manufacturing facilities to produce all our own small-arms, ammunition and artillery,
    advanced anti-tank rockets, clothing, medical goods, etc. All of which are controlled by the military.
    Basel and Bofors assisted commissioning our steel-works and shipyards.
    We can and do build combat helicopters.
    All purchased equipment is easily and readily reverse engineered.
    We already have stockpiles of chemical and nuero-chemicals.
    We simply do not produce as it is more cost-effective in a macro-economic scenario to source externally

    ummm….. Indonesia doesn’t even process their own fuel right?????

    And do not try to drag China into this. The Chinese is part of our Great Asian race and they would not even bother to invade another country.

    Is that right? what about Tibet then?

    Ganyang Melayu! is still very fresh in our Javanese conscience and Temasek/Singapura is former Majapahit vassalage, as was Kambodia, as was Myanmar, as was Lanna Thai. We have historical claim to these former vassal territories as well as Northern Australia- as per archeological evidence.
    ASEAN is Mataram Baru.

    Trading trepang with someone off your fishing boat and sending a few gifts back and forth does not make a vassal.

  6. avatar Janma says:

    Do not forget we expelled the Japanese, Dutch and the British with obsolete weapons and bamboo spears.

    Is that right? I’m sure world war II ended, and the Japaneses conceded defeat cause of those bamboo spears….
    and who was it up there who said that asians never invade other countries?….ooh that’s right AAB…. so are the japs not asian then?

  7. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    And do not try to drag China into this. The Chinese is part of our Great Asian race and they would not even bother to invade another country.

    Is that right? what about Tibet then?

    Tibet and Taiwan belong to China just as much as Australia, Brunei and Malaysia to our Mojopahit Empire. What ‘invade’?

    and who was it up there who said that asians never invade other countries?”¦.ooh that’s right AAB”¦. so are the japs not asian then?

    Any Javanese or the Pinoy or Thais can tell you that the Japs were guarding Asian territories from the Bules. Javanese celebrated when the Japs arrived to liberate them. Search for Joyoboyo’s prophesies.

  8. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Prince Joyoboyo’s prophesy:

    The yellow dwarf people from the North will come to Java to chase the White buffaloes back to their stables.

    This is more straight forward and clearer than the quran.

  9. avatar sputjam says:

    There are no remnants of mojopahit empire outside java.No locals in brunei/australia(north)/malaysia have seen any records of mojopahit ever landed on their shores.
    but malacca/johore-riau area of influence, yes they have heard of it. The sultan of johore still exist, whilst the remnants of sultan of malacca now resides in state of Perak as the sultan, in peninsular malaysia
    The whole kalimantan belonged to brunei sultanate at one time.

    In reality, the malay race are not as competent as the north east asians, or europeans, who would have recorded their history in a more detailed manner.Some of the more agressive asians are the monggolians, whose leader, genghis Khan, are genetically related to 1:200 people between the Pacific and urals in europe. imagine the number of women he must have ravished. Even the so called monggolian barbarians recorded their history in writting. So for the mojopahit rulers not to do so must only mean one thing. it did not exist. It exist only in poems of a court official.

  10. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    @ sputjam

    There are no remnants of mojopahit empire outside java.No locals in brunei/australia(north)/malaysia have seen any records of mojopahit ever landed on their shores.

    Mas sputjam, look at the traditional buildings or the royal residential palace of the royal family in Brunei. An outsider can tell you they resemble closer to the Javanese architectural style found in Central and East Java than the Riau Melayus. Sometime I wonder whether you are a pri for your ignorance of Indonesian cultures. Our legacies are far fetching and beyond.

  11. avatar sputjam says:

    The Sultan of brunei palace resembles more like Minagkabau architecture, if you ask me. In the seventies and early eighties(when the palace was designed and built), this form of roof was the rage in non-indon, malay speaking world. It also includes the KL Hilton, now renamed as mutiara KL. It symbolses malayness, which is missing in the malay world.(actually neglected by developers who are consumed in building lifeless houses for the masses). To make it worse, the palace was designed by a an architect of european origin, who know nuts about anything local.
    Basically, the whole of south east asia built houses on stilts, due to flooding and to prevent deadly animals and insects from coming into the houses. Most have straight roofs, like Thailand/Myanmar/Cambodia/Malay peninsular, which are either made from baked clay or thatched coconut leaves.
    Walls are made from coconut leaves or wooden.

    Coming back to Mojopahit, in reality, they did not leave any legacy behind in non-javanese malay world. Not even language, culture (in the form of dancing/weddings), writings, costume-(javanese designed batik are entirely different from he ones designed in oher parts of the malay world) etc.

    However the legacy of pre-islamic hindu influence continue to this day, including language/weddings and custom/ buildings / etc. This hindu legacy spread far and wide in south east asia and includes Myanmar/Thailand/Vietnam/Khmer/malay peninsular/Java/sumatra. Some of the noptable buldings influence by India include borobodur/Angkor wat/ Bujang Valley (oldest is south east asia) but only floor remnants remained.

  12. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Sputjam

    Coming back to Mojopahit, in reality, they did not leave any legacy behind in non-javanese malay world. Not even language, culture (in the form of dancing/weddings), writings, costume-(javanese designed batik are entirely different from he ones designed in oher parts of the malay world) etc.

    Do you consider Bali and part of Lombok belonging to Java? It was in fact the court of Majapahit who brought their culture to Bali when they were forced out of Java by the spread of Islam. What the world comes to see here in Bali is in fact the reminiscence of the Majapahit legacy. The original Balinese (Bali Aga) society was totally different from Majapahit which only became the leading force after 1300 BCE.

  13. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Oops, my wrong. Should be 1300 CE of course.

  14. avatar Murphy says:

    Neither Majapahit or Srivijaya built empire like the Romans or the Qing Dynasty. If you’re looking for remnants of Majapahit influence in the archipelago chances are there is none.

    First, the so-called “empire” was more like loose federation of states. Nothing involved direct administration. The “vassal” states were only required to send annual tributes to Trowulan or Palembang so they wouldn’t get attacked. Only very few were directly administered by Majapahit.

    Second, most palaces and temples outside Java were made of wood. The Hindu culture (that stresses on stone temples) was not that strong in Sumatra or the Malay Peninsula.

    There is a well recorded example of one with with direct administration though; the Dharmasraya kingdom in Middle Sumatra. It was subjugated by Singhasari, Majapahit’s precursor in the 13th century. Adityawarman, a Majapahit Lord was assigned to govern the kingdom. Apparently, the power got into his head; he seceded and created new kingdom called Pagaruyung in 14th century. For this treason Majapahit sent a punishing expedition soon after. No one was sure about who actually won the battles. But the palace was burnt to ash during the war (yes, it was made of wood).

    The prince moved further to the west and created a smaller kingdom called Indrapura. New Pagaruyung were built soon after that; but it was no more Majapahit’s vassal since the empire was already in decline. The remnants of Majapahit administration can be found in the Minangkabau (the local who live around the kingdom) oral tradition that explained the administrative structure of the Pagaruyung kingdom, intriguingly resembled that of Majapahit.

    The other kingdoms declared loyalty to Majapahit mostly for their own safety. Safety from Majapahit and safety from other’s attacks. Carrying “Majapahit brand” gave them the image of invincibility; much like the Europeans under NATO umbrella. But you can never say that they were administered, or even influenced by Majapahit.

  15. avatar Cukurungan says:

    The point is, it obvious that the Indo armed forces (TNI) is very weak even can not protect its border. Also, corruption mentality has been very common among Javanese military leaders, Indonesia still one of the most corrupted country. Otherwise, how could a few thousands Dutch could conquered millions on them? So, getting more advanced equipment only is not enough. That at least what I understand from one of my friends from TNI.

    That was only history when our ancestor have not yet comprehended the Art of War but in now days we have mastered ‘Art of War”. If other countries need Jet Fighter, Aircraft Bomber, Missile and Nuclear Deterrence for their defense system in the contrary we do not need that expensive arsenal because we have succeeded to develop a unique defense system based on our sex drive instead of the weaponry system. As long as we can keep up our sex drive, we have no reason to afraid any attack by foreign country. The foreign invaders may kill us as many as they can as happened on the past but our hobby in making kid would enable us to produce sustainable supply of the fresh troop to further continue on the war forever until the invaders lossing their battle will.

  16. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Aluang said

    Javanese celebrated when the Japs arrived to liberate them.

    Yes, but not for long. Famine, brutality and oppression quickly took over. Ask the jugun ianfu (comfort women) who are still alive and read Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s story ‘No Resolution’ from ‘Tales From Djakarta’. Yellow is still far from Brown, Aluang.

  17. avatar Sylvester says:

    That was only history when our ancestor have not yet comprehended the Art of War but in now days we have mastered ‘Art of War”. If other countries need Jet Fighter, Aircraft Bomber, Missile and Nuclear Deterrence for their defense system in the contrary we do not need that expensive arsenal because we have succeeded to develop a unique defense system based on our sex drive instead of the weaponry system. As long as we can keep up our sex drive, we have no reason to afraid any attack by foreign country. The foreign invaders may kill us as many as they can as happened on the past but our hobby in making kid would enable us to produce sustainable supply of the fresh troop to further continue on the war forever until the invaders lossing their battle will.

    Ha ha ha LOL. So you mean that the Indo, particularly Javanese human is cheap. Losing million will not matter. Poor Indonesia for having people with this kind of thought

    Mao used to have this similar idea, but Deng is a lot smarter to see the important of quality and value of human soul.

  18. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Unfortunately I see I am unable to teach Ignroami that which they lack the wit to comprehend.
    Siam still sees Javanese influence in many parts of its culture.
    Kambodia still has Javanese era ruins in many parts of the country- including very Javanese names like Kampung Desa etc for its’ towns
    Tagalog has widespread use of Javanese loan-words.
    Malaysia- merely Mingangkabau

    Sultan Brunei is a descendent of pirate raiders placed into an artificial throne by the British. He sought protection from neighbouring Fiefs for his own traitorous actions- prior to the British arriving.

    Batik, ikat, kain etc are all regionally variegated- however the batik process itself remains uniform.
    From Jogja to Solo- we can already see differences in batik- such as sagu for dyes rather than cobalt (Jogja)- and a simplified process (Solo)- but both originate form the one source.
    The stereotypical “parang rusak” design is still a feature- although regional tastes even between Solo and Jogja make the two very difficult to relate as being the same motif- much like the Sidomukti star motif- seen all throughout Indonesia.

    Many of the counter arguments are petty and emotive- one must expect such sour grapes from the less civilised non Javanese- most particularly the traitorous Batak- yes we remember 1957 very well.

    For the historically ignorant- the British quit after the Nationalists bombed General Mallaby. The Chinese of Surabaya- should be noted as being keen willing collaborators of the Dutch and British. Many such lick-spittle Chinamen then ingratiated themselves into Holland, along with their kin from Semarang.
    The Javanese Surabayan movement of “Rekso Roeksmekso”- organised to protest the monopolistic practices of Chinese business owners- was the actual true catalyst for organised armed Nationalist movement- in 1928.
    Again I stress- a Javanese movement. Not Batak. Not Sumateran. Not Kalimantan. Not Manadonese.
    Javanese. Along with Sumpah Permuda: “Satu Bangsa, Satu Boso” etc.
    Javanese.

    Lord Mountbatten was always opposed to the idea of sending British troops on a Dutch mission- thus this gave him reason enough to be heard in Whitehall and have the British removed.
    Several companies of British Indian defected to the Nationalist cause too- so they should be credited as well.
    The Dutch persisted until 1949- when finally US pressure regarding their squander of the bulk of their Marshall Loan was brought into consideration. The Dutch had spent well over half their Marshall Loan (worth at least 1 billion at the time- many billions in today’s money) while their own citizens dwelled in bombed out and starvation racked villages.
    I knew one man, Kaas Melenhorst.- who told me of his family’s bitter life during that post-German period in Holland.

    I post the following short bibliography that clearly substantiates Javanese influence in all ASEAN nations- a very clearly Javanese initiative that encompasses Majapahit.
    Note these are MONOGRAPHS & THESES- not dime-store pulp fiction such as quoted by others above me.

    “Javanese Influence on Indonesian”
    By Soepomo Poedjosoedarmo
    “Language Contact and Change in the Austronesian World”
    By Thomas Edward Dutto et al
    “Language Contact and Change in the Austronesian World”
    By Thomas Edward Dutto
    “Encyclopedia of Asian History”, By Ainslie Thomas Embree, Robin Jeanne Lewis et al
    “Some Aspects of Asian History and Culture”
    By P. K. Rajan, Upendra Thakur
    “he Dictionary of Art” by Jane Turner
    “Cambodian Architecture”- Jacques Dumarcay.

    Jacques Dumarcay is one of the most brilliant Western scholars on the Javanese influence on the ASEAN region- look him up.

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