I’d like to kick things off with a bit of discussion about Indonesia’s strategic environment. At the office today we talked a little bit about the Natuna Islands in light of Scott Bentley’s Strategist post on China’s nine-dash line and Indonesia. Scott’s post explores a less publicised but no less severe incident in March this year between Chinese and Indonesian maritime security forces in the Natuna EEZ. In his words:
China’s growing enforcement of its expansive claims poses a direct threat to the national security of Indonesia. With this tension between neutrality and self-interest becoming more pronounced in recent years, analysts such as [Ristian Atriandi] Supriyanto have begun to question whether this new dynamic may lead Indonesia to begin to ‘balance’ against China in the years ahead, along with its other neighbours. Indeed, there may be elements of such behaviour already becoming evident in Indonesia’s broader security strategy.
Could giving the Indonesian military the right to vote speed up internal reforms? (Also, check out Evan Laksmana’s thoughts in 2010 on this issue)
According to The Australian, ‘Indonesia has experienced a more than 50 per cent surge in pirate attacks in the first half of 2013’ mostly around the Riau province.
A new-ish RSIS report on TNI’s counter-terrorism task force by Jennifer Yang Hui.
Former Kopassus commander and presidential hopeful, Prabowo Subianto, makes a last effort to woo voters with promises of cash. Sigh. We’ll see what happens come April next year.
Lastly, a bit of Indonesian military history with a video on Konfrontasi via Indonesian blog, Garuda Militer:
Only a few bits and pieces for today, including:
It seems like the Indonesian police and military are brawling at night clubs (again, sigh). Perhaps they should drop their status before stepping into the club, suggests a member of the National Police Commission.
A new report on human rights links Australian Iroquois helicopters to the alleged indiscriminate shooting of Papuans by the Indonesian military in the late 1970s. DFAT and Defence are reportedly looking into the matter.
Lastly, the female members of TNI and POLRI come out in force on Kartini Day. I couldn’t resist adding this boss picture (above) from this year’s parade in April.
Image source: Tribun News.
Here’s your daily dose of Indonesia defence related news and links:
RSIS analyst Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto is quoted in this Asia Report article as saying Indonesia’s air exercises over the Natuna Islands (near the South China Sea) send a political signal to China: “In this sense, the exercises are meant to reassert and demonstrate Indonesia’s sovereignty in the Natunas.”
Over at The Strategist, ANU’s Daniel Grant looks at Australian defence policy and Indonesia. He argues, “[b]ut Australia should consider the possibility that we’ve already seen the full extent of Indonesia’s ‘Westward’ shift.”