Sea Control 46 & 47: Indonesia Primer & British vs. American Surface Warfare Officers

Last week, I was job-related occupied and had no time to review the newest episodes of Sea Control. Thus, I will review in this article the latest two.

On 9 July 2014, the 3rd Indonesian presidential election was held. Voters had to decide between Prabowo Subianto, a former Lieutenant General in the Indonesian National Armed Forces and the governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, who finally won the election. The incumbent president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was constitutionally barred from seeking a third term in office. The election of Widodo is a positive development 15 years after the first free elected president.

Indonesia is not only the largest state in South-East Asia, but also a stable, Muslim majority democracy. Nevertheless, according to Dr. Peter McCawley from the Australian College of Asia and the Pacific, Indonesia has still a long way to go. The biggest challenge for Indonesia is mass poverty – 11,7% of the population is below poverty line (CIA World Fact Book, 2012) and about 50% of the people have less than 2 US-Dollar a day. One place behind Palestine on rank 108, Indonesia has only a medium Human Development Index (HDI; UNDP, “Human Development Report 2014“, 24.07.2014, p. 161). Furthermore the infrastructure is underdeveloped – not only roads and ports, but also for example the water supply system.

The question remains if, with a newly elected president, Indonesia could do more in international affairs. Faced with domestic challenges, it would be a mistake for the international community to expect too much regarding Indonesia’s role in the regional security and stability. To answer that and other questions, Natalie Sambhi talks with Dr. Peter McCawley and Dr. Ross Tapsell, also from the Australian College of Asia and the Pacific, in episode 46 of Sea Control.

More information

Listen to episode #46 immediately


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According to Wikipedia, modern naval warfare is divided into four operational areas: surface warfare, air warfare, submarine warfare and information warfare. Each area comprises specialized platforms and strategies used to exploit tactical advantages unique and inherent to that area. Surface warfare officers interdict other, adversarial ships to pass through a location (interdiction) and have dominance of force over a given area that prevents other naval forces from operating successfully (sea control). In episode 47, Matthew Hipple discusses with Lt. Jon Paris, an US Navy Surface Warfare Officer, the differences between the Royal Navy and US Navy processes of creating officers for their surface fleet, the nature of being a maritime “professional” and possible improvements for the US model. The discussion is based on Paris’ article “The Virtue of Being a Generalist, Part 1: A Day in the Life of Sub Lieutenant Snodgrass“.

More information

Listen to episode #47 immediately

Latest: Episode #47 – Archive: all episodes – Don’t miss any future episodes and subscribe on iTunes.

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CIMSECThe Center for International Maritime Security (CIMSEC) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank. It was formed in 2012 to bring together forward-thinkers from a variety of fields to examine the capabilities, threats, hotspots, and opportunities for security in the maritime domain. Check out the NextWar blog to join the discussion. CIMSEC encourages a diversity of views and is currently accepting membership applications here.

This entry was posted in English, Indonesia, International, Sea Control, Sea Powers, Security Policy.

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