Le’ Notes #28: Why is it so hard to buy military transformation?

This post discusses the factors that make buying military transformation so difficult.

Why doesn’t the military get with the program? Why does the government seem so reluctant to buy those shiny new Gen-5 planes and ships? These are some of the questions I had when I was a snot-nosed undergrad aspiring to solve all of the country’s defence problems. I thought we could buy our way out of being a big country with a meagre defence force. I thought the government was stupid because it didn’t (or was too slow) to embrace the technological marvels that were on sale. The truth is, defence acquisition may be one of the most convoluted processes within the government, aside from implementing neoliberal macroeconomic policies.

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THOUGHTS AND COFFEE #3: Uphill battle for Indonesia’s defense modernization

This article was originally published in The Jakarta Post, 1 November 2016.


The more expert analyses I read on the issue of naval and defense modernization in Indonesia, the more I realize that there are many challenges ahead. Though Jokowi does have a grand maritime vision for the country, there are a lot of challenges ahead before Indonesia can become a global maritime fulcrum in Southeast Asia.

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SemText #1: Can defence technology make us strategically stupid?

This SemText discusses how defence technology may impair strategic intuition.

It’s August and it’s time for the Asia-Pacific Programme for Senior Military Officers (APPSMO)! Granted that I’m still a civilian, it’s a great privilege for me to actually be able to attend this event (albeit only the morning seminars). There are supposed to be 3 talks today, but I missed the first one because it took me 2 hours to get to the venue which was located at the east coast of Singapore (I live at the west coast) and the second one was already half-way through. So I decided to just pay attention to the third and final talk delivered by Prof. Pascal Vennesson about how defence technology can make military planners become strategically stupid. His emphasis was on how technology influences strategic decision-making.

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