Indonesia’s Military Looking to Increase Spending
The recent dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia is leading Indonesia’s military to request significant increases in spending, in order to update and maintain to its aging equipment. Military spending this year is set at Rp 21.9 trillion (USD $2.4 billion), up slightly from Rp 21.4 trillion last year and Rp 11.53 trillion in 2003.
Indonesian defense officials noted that their military is unlikely to purchase new arms before 2007; nevertheless, the issue of spares and maintenance is a significant problem in light of a 13 year old U.S. arms embargo over human rights violations in East Timor. Cumbersome internal procurement policies create further barriers to effectiveness, and Commander Gen. Endriartono Sutarto has noted that abolishing the legal requirement to procure all equipment through “third parties or private partners” could save the military up to 50%. Observers have noted that these regulations have often been a vehicle for corruption. Jakarta Post article.