The US Is Ready to Help Strengthen the Indonesian Military

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto (left) and United States (US) Minister of Defense Lloyd Austin (right) in Bahrain. (U.S Secretary of Defense Documentation)

Indonesian Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto met the US Minister of Defense, Lloyd Austin, at the Pentagon, USA, Thursday (20/10/2022) morning local time. At the meeting, Austin said he was ready to support strengthening the main tools of the Indonesian weapon system.

This was conveyed by Pentagon Spokesman Pat Ryder in a media briefing, Friday (10/21/2022) early morning WIB.

“Both of them discussed the alignment of future cooperation between the United States and Indonesia, where both countries want a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is a global concern,” he said.

On that occasion, Austin appreciated Indonesia’s leadership in ASEAN, the Indo-Pacific, and other parts of the world.

“The two leaders emphasized the importance of continued cooperation as regional security dynamics become increasingly complex. To support this goal, Austin expressed interest in continuing to assist in the modernization of the Indonesian military and to strengthen interoperability between the United States and Indonesia,” Ryder said as quoted from the Pentagon’s official website.

According to him, Austin and Prabowo also discussed significant progress in US-Indonesia defense cooperation, including the expansion of the “Super” Garuda Shield this summer, the largest exercise ever conducted between the two countries.

Austin also expressed support for Prabowo’s focus on professionalizing the Indonesian military. It is noted that Indonesia now has cadets in three US military academies.

“He also stressed the importance of shared values ​​between the United States and Indonesia – the world’s two largest democracies. The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding international rules and norms that preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Ryder said.

The two of them had a casual conversation. Lloyd, jokingly, said he wanted to hear Prabowo make a speech like the one at the Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue 2021 forum in Bahrain in November 2021.

“Thank God, thank God this time I don’t have to make a speech,” Prabowo said in response to Lloyd, laughing.

Furthermore, one of the agendas discussed during Prabowo’s visit to Washington was the finalization of the planned purchase of F-15 fighter jets.

The last meeting between Prabowo and Lloyd Austin took place at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore in mid-June 2022. Both of them were discussing bilateral defense relations between Indonesia and the US.