Ministry of Defense 2020 Leadership Meeting Defense Minister that national defense is an investment, not a cost”

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President Jokowi addresses the assembled military and defense personel during the Leadership Meeting, Thursday morning 23/01/2020. Pri-or, MOD Prabowo emphasizes the need to unite to maintain sovereignty, defend our borders and ensure the safety of our people. Afterwards Jokowi is accompanied by MOD Prabowo to inspect a defense exhibition of locally manufactured armament and weaponary. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) took part in a 2020 Leadership Meeting with the Ministry of Defense. He arrived at the Ministry of Defense Complex, on Thursday (23/01/2020) morning 07.55 WIB a.m., received by Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto. Officials in attendance included  Mahfud MD, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs; Commander of the Indonesian National Army (“TNI”), Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto;     Chief of the Indonesian Police, General Idham Azis; and the Presidential Chief of Staff, Moeldoko.

President Jokowi spoke to the assembled military and defense personel that our State sovereignty is non-negotiable. He thus instructed everyone in the TNI and the Police Force (“Polri”) to up their game, working more diligently to strengthen and maintain our country’s inalienable sovereignty. “This morning, I directed everyone in TNI and Polri to work more effectively to strengthen and maintain the sovereignty of the Republic, standing at the front line in maintaining NKRI sovereignty.”

Jokowi further reminded all present of the importance of mitigating complex threats, such as internal conflicts, asymmetrical wars, guerilla attacks, proxy wars, and hybrid probes, combining military with non-military strategies, conventional with non-conventional strategies, and what this implies for the State’s defense. “Our challenges will only escalate in the future. The first one facing us is the expanded spectrum for conflict in all parts of the world,” he warned.

In response to this looming challenge, Jokowi proposes to strengthen our diplomacy with other countries, as well as preparing defensive tactics and military hardware to maintain sovereignty in Indonesian territory. “We must ready our physical resources for the task of law enforcement across our territory,” Jokowi declared. “Sovereignty is non-negotiable and must be defended.”

In reference to the MOD’s work visits to foreign countries, Jokowi stated that Prabowo is performing “defense diplomacy”. “Therefore, those who criticize the Minister’s trips abroad fail to understand the duties encompassing a Minister of Defense. Naturally, he travels to other countries in order to implement defense diplomacy, including securing weapon systems and cooperation in developing armaments for TNI, in order to uphold the sovereignty and security of the Republic,” he said.

“The Ministry of Defense and TNI must consistently ensure that we are assuming a proper alert defense stance, with appropriate equipment and weaponry. I am in agreement the Defense Minister that “national defense is an investment, not a cost.”

The Ministry of Defense is allotted the greatest budget of all  ministries, with a total of IDR 131 trillion of the State Budget allocated to it. “I believe that Mr. Defense Minister will correctly fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to him, as he possesses a thorough understanding of necessary details. I am confident that Minister of Defense Prabowo will oversee the budget wisely,” he said. “I have also asked him to consider ways to upgrade the welfare of our soldiers.”

The Leadership Meeting, themed “Strong Universal Defense Ensures NKRI Survival”, is the initial session following the appointment of Prabowo Subianto as the Minister of Defense. Minister Prabowo stated before President Jokowi that the theme of the Meeting is to exhort everyone to take part in upgrading our strong national defense, through utilizing Indonesia’s national treasures, whether human resources, natural resources or man-made resources. “We are determined to fully implement this, with integration, organization, and continuity, to ensure the long-term survival of NKRI.

“We therefore must unite in order to successfully maintain sovereignty, defend the integrity of our borders, and ensure the safety of all citizens, as we face various upcoming threats and challenges,” he concluded. (Dsy)