Stop press: Crazy old man sees Indo invasion

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That’s not my headline. It was sent to me today by a professional strategic analyst about Gotti today:

…it’s clear the Indonesians believe their greatest threat is from Australia. Air Force chief spokesman Air Commodore Hadi Tjajanto told The Jakarta Post: “We are concentrating on four radars in Timika, Merauke, Saumlaki and Buraen, which face Australia.

“So if we notice any border violation, Makassar will be ready. Australia is reachable from there.” (my emphasis).

The article carries the heading: “Air Force casts its eyes on borders with Australia” see link at the bottom of the page.

What makes that Indonesian air force statement so important is that the Indonesians realise that ultimately it’s about air power. And by the end of the decade the Indonesians will completely control Australia’s northern air space.

To achieve dominance over Australia Indonesia plans to buy an incredible 180 of the Russian/Indian Sukhoi fighters, almost certainly including the T-50 PAK-FA and Su-35S. We are planning to buy America’s Joint Strike Fighter which has been an unmitigated disaster and is absolutely no match for the Russian/Indian aircraft.

And it’s so noisy that when the “stealth” bomber lands or takes off from Darwin the residents near the airport will need ear protection. We may need to base the JSF further south because of the Darwin noise problem but unfortunately the JSF has limited flying range.

As we saw with the Australian defence abuses the department of defence has a culture of cover ups and the JSF disaster is its biggest ever cover-up.

Discuss.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

Comments

  1. Well the ABC are in overdrive attempting to confect conflict between the two – Gotti must have the transistor stuck on Radio National.

    • Talk of conflict may well be overrated.

      After all why would the Indonesians want to attack or invade Northern Australia when the Australian government is “Open for Business” and is likely to endorse leasing or selling large chunks of Northern Australian to well connected Indonesian corporations.

      As we have been told repeatedly a modern country like Australia prospers by transferring the ownership of existing assets to foreign purchasers.

      Especially, complex and sophisticated assets like large cattle runs where Australians desperately need to import skills and management expertise from strangers to make them profitable. /sarc

      No sensible potential landlord goes out of their way to alienate the hired help.

      At worst there might be a bit of sabre rattling to encourage our government to lower the asking price.

      If the Indonesians really do intend to buy hundreds of attack aircraft wouldn’t it be better for us to cuddle up and offer them a few landing strips in Northern Australia and throw NZ in with a set of steak knives.

      The legend of the mighty ANZIND alliance is ready to go.

      • Slightly tongue in cheek fellas – just that the ABC leads nearly every news item with some ‘we’ve upset Indo’ story, milked the Snowden stuff to death…and probably would secretly love a biggie to ‘blame’ on Abbott.

      • “Slightly tongue in cheek fellas”

        translates to:

        “you’ve just been trolled”

        do you really have nothing better to do 3d?

    • I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the ABC in charge of the vessels that “inadverently” breached Indonesian sovereignty on several occasions.

  2. I think I saw this before: country falls into debt driven economic crisis, right wing conservative leaders get power with need to move voters’ focus from “dying from hunger” to “dying for the country”

      • we should strike indonesia’s main port with a surprise attack while her navy is in dock. That should buy us a few years which to capture the pacific rim and dig in before they can retaliate .

      • Millions will have died by the end, but their troops will have advanced no further than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping.

      • dumb_non_economist

        Rob101,

        I can’t remember when, but I’m kinda certain someone tried that once though not sure how it worked out. 😆

  3. michael francis

    I heard the Indo’s are going to invade on the last Saturday in September. The timing is going to coincide with the first bounce at the AFL Grand Final with strategists claiming all will be over by three quarter time.

  4. Gotti cant get past this JSF business, he gets his intel from Airpower Australia who want the wings put back on the F111.
    He really thinks Jakarta is coveting those beautiful beaches of W.A. How on earth could Indonesia take on a country the size of Australia, yes our military is not up to a proper fight but I doubt Indonesia’s is either.
    I remember hearing Robert Gates testify that to put a no fly zone over Libya would take well over 500 aircraft and associated support given the size of the place.

    He should empty his bowels in the toilet like most people instead of on Businessspectator.

    • Airpower Australia, want a bunch of loons.

      Whilst we can’t really invade anyone, no one can invade us.

      And don’t worry about the JSF.

      There are some in operation already, and the word is ‘they’re a game changer’

  5. Give them an airbase lease down the road from the US in the NT and charge both of them astronomical rent while providing no inrastructure..

  6. I think this is one of the most vicious and comprehensive rebuttals of journalism I’ve seen in Australian online media

    Michael James, Fri, 2014-01-24 11:07
    Indonesia cannot afford, cannot support and will never own 180 Russian fighters. The RAAF, a first world air force with respected capabilities, would struggle to do so, the Indonesian Air Force, on a minuscule budget by comparison, may dream of doing so but we deal in realities, not dreams.

    Having witnessed first hand the Indonesian Air Force in operation, they are more of a danger to themselves than anyone else, a opinion shared by the RSAF (Singapore’s air force).

    The main use of the TNI-AF’s (Indonesian Air Force) current two-seat F16 fleet is to ferry senior air force officers around the archipelago and undertake joy rides for politicians.

    The average number of flight hours each TNI-AF pilot gets per year is between a third and a quarter of those of their RAAF and RSAF counterparts, meaning the level of skill is significantly less and hard-won skills perish with little or no chance to be maintained.

    Besides, the Indonesians once spoke of operating hundreds of F16s before reality mugged them, as it has a habit of doing. They operate a grand total of 23 (They lost one to an accident) F16s, with 24 new ones replacing the older models sometime in the next few years.

    In total the TNI-AF operates 3 SU-27s and 9 SU-30s, with six more SU-30s on order for delivery from late 2013 at the rate of two aircraft per year. They speak in ‘hundreds’ but mean ‘tens’.

    Alarmists may take Indonesian media releases at face value, professionals look at capabilities and intentions.

    On that basis the TNI-AF will continue to be a local air defence arm struggling to cover their vast archipelago, not a force for expansion.

      • I think it is time for MacroBusiness TV then we could really have some fun taking the piss out of Gotti.
        One thing is clear though the age of the internet is going to create problems for mainstream media organisations being the mouthpiece of corporate interests. Gotti & Kohler are outrageous in the way they parrot whatever line big business or associated think tanks cough up each day.
        There is always someone online who is a dispassionate & honest expert willing to speak the truth in the comments section. The death of the loss making Australian newspaper and print editions of The Age & SMH in the not too distant future will hopefully improve the standard of debate in this country.

    • I take back what I said above.

      The US wont need to launch a counter-strike, they will just sit back an laugh as the Indonesian Air Force incompetently shoot themselves in the foot.

      The mouse that roared.

  7. I am skeptical of Indonesia but we must recognize their use as a barrier between us and the South China Sea. It is more likely it is in our interests to tread lightly with Indonesia as a way of pacifying any possible hostile attempt from China. Also explains our military relationship with the United States. The world is a game of Risk (the board game).

    • “I am skeptical of Indonesia”

      or it’s just close to election time.

      Do you know why the US mArine base is in Darwin?

      it’s because the chinese are rattling their sabre in the South China sea.

      It scares the bejeezus out of Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam.

      idyllically the US base would be there, say on the coast of Vietnam or Borneo,but the political fall out would be too much.

      We’re big enough to tell China to stick it if they whinge. When it comes to ASEAN, we’re taking one for the team.

      As far as cold relations, SBY and his team are virtually all Australian friendly. it’s be hard to plant 5ht columnists of that calibre, yet alone have them win elections.

      The recent election of the team dunce, and a weak labor government needing to favour domestic green softcocks over indonesia beef consumption may have caused a reflex action, but this is the basis of a good relationship.

      Sure, consevative being as stupid and reactionary as they are can really mess things up, particularly when their American puppet masters tell them to, but it shouldn’t be too much concern.

      Indonesia has more reason to sway away from China than to them

  8. Forget all the Mouse That Roared stuff. This is much more interesting!

    In 1984 I was in London and I used to go the Speaker’s Corner for a giggle and take some photos.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/57310557/The_end.jpg

    Notice how close this is to the image at the top! Same guy, same sign.

    I wonder if anyone else remembers that place?

    “The Master” was also good entertainment.

  9. casewithscience

    The tales of JSF inferiority to the Sukhoi are over stated (and made before anyone had actually tested either aircraft).

    All indications are that the JSF will eat 35S at a rate of 3 to 1 (http://www.upi.com/Security_Industry/2009/01/14/Russia_trails_US_in_pursuit_of_a_fifth-generation_jet/UPI-35761231951126/2/).

    On top of this, it appears that support and maintenance of PAK and SUs will be problematic.

    As usual, Ruskis have great ideas and terrible implementation.

  10. Jets will be to the next war what battleships were to WW2 (anachronistic). They are really only used in CAS now. If we ever require air superiority or a strategic bombing capability we won’t have humans in the aircraft. Even today the human body is the weakest part of the jet (and the most politically damaging if shot down). Like most of the issues discussed on MB, the unwillingness to discuss/implement underlying structural reform is a serious impediment to strategic security. But here we are, discussing the histrionics of a person with no idea, on an issue of little importance.

  11. I have an inside source who informs me the ADF has forward positioned a battalion of special forces in Kuta, disguised as holiday bogans.

  12. The Indonesian Government is far too busy holding the nation together to take seriously as a threat to Australia. All the sabre-rattling is purely for domestic consumption. Australia has conveniently provided some fodder for this purpose by revealing that its boats have “inadvertently” breached Indonesian sovereignty. It would not be in the least surprising to find this strategy was mutually cooked up before the event to provide domestic bolstering for both governments.