Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Monday, June 04, 2007

Indonesia Looking for Maritime Security Assistance from North Asia

Reported as Indonesia Requests Maritime Security Help From Japan, China, Korea:
A top Indonesian military official is calling for stronger military cooperation with Northeast Asian countries to help keep waterborne trade routes secure. He was speaking at a conference in Singapore called the Shangri-La Dialogue that is becoming an important annual gathering of diplomats and experts in Asian security issues. Chad Bouchard reports from Jakarta.

Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono has asked Asia's wealthiest nations to provide ships and technical assistance in patrolling one of the world's busiest and most vulnerable shipping lanes. The Malacca Strait runs between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, and carries 40 percent of the world's maritime trade.
"Maybe [this could be viewed as] a signal being sent to the U.S. as well that Indonesia is independent and it can choose who it wants to help police the Straits because Indonesia has had quite a nationalistic way of looking at its territorial waters; it's been loathe to let outsiders, even the Singaporeans, have too much say in how it patrols," said Holm.

Defense minister Sudarsono said Indonesia's defense budget is less than one percent of its gross domestic product, or about $3.2 billion a year, and poverty relief was more important in the national budget than fleet expansion.
It's one way you can get the users to pay for maritime security.

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