Indonesia’s Military Modernization Must Go Beyond New Hardware

Indonesian tanks during a parade marking the 74th anniversary of the Indonesian armed forces in Jakarta, Oct. 5, 2019 (AP photo by Tatan Syuflana).
Indonesian tanks during a parade marking the 74th anniversary of the Indonesian armed forces in Jakarta, Oct. 5, 2019 (AP photo by Tatan Syuflana).
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When Japan signed a deal with Indonesia in March enabling it to export defense equipment to the Southeast Asian country, some media outlets highlighted the supposed shared interests between Japan and Indonesia in countering China. According to the Associated Press, for example, the agreement would allow the two countries to “strengthen their military ties in the face of China’s increasingly assertive activity in the region.” But a closer look reveals that Tokyo and Jakarta have very different reasons for signing the agreement.  While Japanese officials stressed the need to deter China and prevent it from making unilateral changes to the […]

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