Indonesian military eyes bigger budget

Updated On: Mar 15, 2005

Jakarta-The Indonesian military (TNI), alarmed by the latest territorial dispute betweenIndonesiaandMalaysia, wants to increase defence spending immediately to modernise its tattered war machines.

TNI Commander Gen Endriartono Sutarto said the military, along with the Ministry of Defence, would propose a significant increase in military spending this year during the upcoming state budget revision scheduled to start this month.

"An immediate increase in military spending is a must. The TNI needs support from all parties to improve its equipment and arms in order to address future external threats," Gen Endriartono said on March8.

He hinted that the budget increase should be able to cover costs for reviving and modernising all of the military's war machines, which were either not functioning or too old.

"Our target for the next two years is to make all of our equipment fully operational. That will be just enough to defend our country from external threat," said Gen Endriartono.

Most of the funds would go to the Navy and Air Force.

Based on the state budget, military spending this year is set at 21.9 trillion rupiah (US$2.4 billion), up slightly from 21.4 trillion rupiah last year.

The TNI's military equipment has been steadily deteriorating as a result of the 13-year arms embargo by theUnited States.

* Military to up spending to modernize equipment (The Jakarta Post, March 10)

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