ARMED CONFLICT WITH INDONESIA?
... don't think soNo-one dares mention the possibility of a military conflict with Indonesia, it’s a taboo subject, but many have wondered, “what if”. How would Australia fare in a war with the most populous Islamic nation on earth? A nation with ten times our population and a GDP approaching that of China’s?
Well, the thought led me to a bit of bedtime reading of the iconic Jane’s Defence Weekly. I slept pretty well.
Military conflict is extremely remote but Indonesia has no doubt assessed its military capability in the face of possible conflict and if it has carried out that assessment objectively, it will know to declare war on anyone in our region would resemble a lamb leading itself to slaughter.
As with all third-world countries, Indonesia has an inflated view of its own military capability and to consider conflict with Australia would be sheer madness.
It has certainly lifted its rate of defence spending in the past few years, nowhere near that of Australia’s $27billion budget, but it has said it wants a military capability better than Australia’s. That won’t be the case any time soon.
Unfortunately (for Indonesia that is) up to 30% of its defence budget of $US8 billion is lost in corruption and infighting between heads of its defence forces wanting a piece of the action.
For Indonesia to have an effective military capacity within the region it needs a modern navy and air force. It has neither. Oh, it has a few fighter aircraft but pilot training is equivalent to that of Garuda Airlines.
It has ordered a couple of submarines but as for a sophisticated naval force, forget it! They can’t even monitor people smuggler boats.
SBY oversaw Indonesia’s latest joint exercises... with itself. It boasted five Sukhoi SU 27/30 fighters, (reported to be incapable of surviving any modern-day air combat) five Hawk SPOs, five F-16s and 11 C-30 aircraft, 14 Scorpion Tanks, 12 Mi-17 helicopters, 21 cannons, and 12 Bell Helicopters.
We get better than that turning up to a bushfire.
Its claimed number of 400,000 active troops means nothing because of inadequate deployment capability. [Remember Saddam Hussein and his million men?]
The regional defence pact, the Five Power Defence Arrangement between Australia, Britain, New Zealand (don’t expect too much there), Singapore and Malaysia leaves Indonesia pretty much out in the cold. And that’s without our US alliance.
Indonesia’s defence forces are dysfunctional, disjointed, hopelessly under-armed, incompetent, corrupt, inexperienced and without allied support.
So, you too can sleep well, Indonesia wouldn’t get a shot off in Darwin before Jakarta was rubble. The Pickering Post