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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:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Prabowo says Indonesia only has enough bullets to defend itself for 3 days of war[/perfectpullquote]

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.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] 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. [/perfectpullquote]

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?

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5 years ago

There’s also the point that were Indonesia fighting a war it’s main supplier approved of, or at least that someone making the right sort of bullet approved of, it would have all the bullets it could dream of- or at least all it can afford.
Whether the stock held is an adequate buffer or not, replacement stock will certainly be available at a price.
It’s a variation on the “no breakfast” fallacy.

5 years ago

Ammo has a shelf-life. Armies don’t keep vast stocks of it because it would only have to be blown up or shot out on the shooting range. Yes I know that some civvies have ammunition dating back to the Boer War but it is dangerous to use.

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