Revitalization and acceleration of the national defense system

Lt. Gen. (ret) Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin Former the Deputy of Defence Minister

IO – The 74-year life of the nation and state must not be denied; it cannot be separated from the spirit and commitment of the Indonesian people to defend and fulfill Indonesia’s independence, in what is popularly known as the national interest, whose essence is to maintain the survival of the nation and the Republic of Indonesia while carrying out national development. This has motivated the Indonesian people to build a strong Unitary State of Indonesia, from 1945 to 2019.

The state mandates the government through the Constitution and regulations to formulate legality as the basis for building a national defense system, to defend the country with a universal defense system manned by the armed forces and non-military defense forces by the public with various professional backgrounds with the support of the defense industry. The Great Commander General Soedirman once advised, “The Indonesian State is not sufficiently defended by the military alone: it is necessary to conduct close cooperation with groups and bodies outside the army” (Spoken in front of the Conference of the People’s Security Army on 12 November 1945 in Yogyakarta).

Building a superior state defense system is not sufficient with the concept of strategic thinking, but as human anatomy maintains its endurance, the government needs to keep a close watch on dynamic and evolving strategic constellations as a reference for simulations in formulating superior defense architecture and high stamina. We must be vigilant in observing the landscape of national, regional, and global threats from state and non-state actors; just as our country which has natural resources on land and at sea should not be drained from illegal interests that consume the country’s foreign exchange.

Map of Politics – Economy and National Solidity is part of the strategic constellation of concern in designing the building of national defense, so that there is no disorientation in determining its direction.

Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is a universal demand in building military defense forces, directing us to have a military defense force that is relevant to the development of military technology possessed by regional and global military forces. This is where defense diplomacy needs to be developed, with a network of International Defense and Military cooperation.

The value of the territorial sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia on land, at sea, and in the air cannot be assessed in terms of the nominal value of the Rupiah, although the government needs to determine a defense budget platform. Like we need a defense budget of 1 – 2% of GDP, but the current position of the defense budget is still around 1% of GDP. Maintaining the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia requires the commitment of the nation and state from two aspects, namely, a system that is supported by ability and capability. An ability is built and developed with a level of professionalism and intellectuality of qualified human resources while having the capability to manifest in the application of quality performance in all levels of management, accompanied by a spirit of militancy which does not know surrender to any challenges. This is a prerequisite for us to build a national defense system.

The Vision and Mission of National Defense embody an ability that is capable and able to maintain the sovereignty and integrity of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia and to safeguard the nation’s safety. This is a constitutional demand as meant by the Preamble to the 1945 Constitution.

Actually, the country has risen to build military power and the Defense Industry in Managing the National Defense System, but there is a strategic need to always run consistently and sustainably by continuing to develop military and non-military defense forces both within the parameters of legality and regulation as well as dynamic and strategic defense policies and plans. The existence of a Defense Industry is a strategic reinforcement for the country’s defense capabilities in addition to acting as a deterrent factor.

The next step in building a strong Indonesian defense system is none other than the consistency and continuity of defense policies and strategies that can accelerate and optimize the development of defense forces and the Defense Industry with the support of a defense budget of 1-2% of GDP. On the other hand, this challenge is only answered if it is supported by Human Resources with the ability and capability of trusted militancy and intellectuality. We must improve our position as a regional power on a regional and international scale. The answer is to continue to Revitalize and Accelerate.