Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/12/2012 -- BMI's Indonesia Defence & Security Report for Q312 examines the country's strategic position in the South East Asian region and the wider world. It provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and the challenges it may face in the
The report examines the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The report's general conclusion is that after many years of strategic isolation, Indonesia is emerging as an important player in the Asia Pacific region. In keeping with this development, the Indonesian military, after years of underinvestment and foreign vilification over its activities in East Timor, is starting to reap the rewards of an increasing defence budget and also of the country's improving international reputation.
In particular, the report details how good relations with countries such as Australia, South Korea, the UK and the US are translating into new avenues for defence materiel. Much of it second hand but has been provided on favourable terms to a country that now has the image of an attractive international partner. Russia also remains a key weapon systems provider.
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However, the report also makes it clear that there is still progress to be made in Indonesia. The country's internal security environment remains less benign than its external security position. In particular, misguided government policies in Papua continue to make the region highly tense, with violence continuing there in 2012. The threat from Islamist terrorism currently appears diminished, though.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- Jakarta has softened its stance on the deployment of US Marines to Darwin - a move it was initially sceptical about. The March 2+2 summit of Australian and Indonesian defence and foreign ministers appears to have reassured the Indonesian side that an increased US presence will bring benefits to the region. Military co-operation, including the transfer of Australian C- 130 cargo planes to Jakarta, was also discussed.
- New procurement objectives have emerged over the last quarter: these include the possible purchase of OPVs from Brunei, and ongoing interest on the part of the MoD in acquiring main battle tanks from the Netherlands in spite of parliamentary objections.
- Issues of domestic concern are also addressed. Chiefly these relate to continuing unrest in Papua and the absence of a political programme to help solve the problems there, along with the deterioration of the relationship between Indonesia's army and its police, whose officers have increasingly become involved in violent, and sometimes fatal, confrontations. The government's decision to use the army to police recent protests over rising fuel prices has also emerged as an area of concern.
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