Indonesia’s Prabowo – Ex-Military is Still Military It Seems


There are only the two candidates in the upcoming Presidential election in Indonesia, the incumbent, Joko Widodo, and his challenger, Prabowo Subianto. That second is ex-military, a former general, and he seems to have kept some of the mindset of such a lifelong training. Whether Indonesia can defend itself – against whom isn’t indicated – isn’t dependent upon how many bullets the country has. It’s how long it can support the delivery of such to where it might want them to go. That is, anything above an insurgency is, these days, an economic matter rather then purely military.

This thus isn’t quite what Prabowo thinks it is:

Prabowo says Indonesia only has enough bullets to defend itself for 3 days of war

That could be true but it does rather depend upon who is attacking and how they’re attacking. Indonesia wouldn’t have any problems at all in defending itself from, say, and to entirely invent a causus belli, Monaco. It would have rather more difficulty in defending itself against the United States, again to invent something that isn’t going to happen. And in neither case would the number of bullets have any bearing at all on the outcome nor length of the struggle.

Modern all out wars, that is, simply aren’t fought with bullets. The weapons of war are rather different these days.

The current defense minister even said that, in a war, Indonesia will only last for three days because we only have enough bullets to last three days. This is not us (Prabowo’s campaign) who’s saying this, but the current government,” he said. There doesn’t seem to be any record in the media of Ryamizard making that statement. A quick fact check investigation by Kompas showed that Ryamizard did post a tweet saying that Indonesia may not last beyond three days in a war, but the reason he gave was not a lack of ammunition but rather a lack of adequate energy reserves.

Whether that’s true or not it does seem to indicate a rather better understanding of the limitations of military power. The thing being, perhaps that’s something we’d like a General to know?

Unlike many news organisations, we chose an approach that means all our reporting is free and available for everyone. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable.
For as little as £1 (£10 if you were at OxBridge) you can support us – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

Click Here To Make A Contribution - Tim & The Team