Indonesia defence news and links

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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.”

My senior colleague Rod Lyon responded to Daniel today: “Perhaps so, but I don’t think we should assume that the future of our bilateral strategic cooperation turns solely upon Indonesia becoming western. Rather, it turns upon both countries thinking of themselves as Southeast Asian.”

Speaking of Australia-Indonesia defence relations, here’s an IKAHAN article (in Indonesian) on the recent joint exercise Wirra Jaya AUSINDO 2013. Held in September in Sentul, the exercise brought together soldiers from Mechanised Infantry Battalion 202/Tajimalela and 5RAR to work with combat vehicle and shooting skills, amongst others.

There are more and more instances of TNI’s involvement in non-military security issues. Yesterday, The Jakarta Post reported that the Siliwangi Military Command will now assist the West Java provincial administration in combating human trafficking.

Lastly, TNI scholar Bob Lowry has some book reviews on over at Inside Indonesia, including one on Djaja Suparman’s memoirs on being a military officer during reformasi. Bob also reviews a book on the first graduates of Indonesia’s Armed Forces Military Academy.

Image source: IKAHAN.

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