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US Defense Secretary Given Insight on Counter-terrorism during Visit to Indonesia

On his visit to Indonesia, US Defense Secretary James Mattis was given some insight by Indonesian Politics, Law and Security Minister Wiranto on how Indonesia has made significant strides in tackling the threat of terrorism.

“Indonesia’s experience in overcoming terrorism has made it to be known as a country that has succeeded in handling terrorism, and we have hard and soft approaches,” Wiranto said after meeting Mattis, as quoted by local media.

According to Wiranto, the meeting with Mattis also involved discussions about potential coordination between the two nations, particularly in the transfer of primary weapon system technology and also in the exchange of young military personnel.

Before meeting Wiranto, the American Defense Secretary also had meetings with President Joko Widodo and Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, with whom the issues of the South China Sea, North Korea and ISIS were discussed.

Mattis had said that his visit to Indonesia was part of his effort to build alliances and partners in the region. Indonesia has been a special military partner of the United States for some time.

“We probably engage with the Indonesian military more than any other nation anywhere in terms of [military-to-military] engagements,” Mattis said.

According to international relation observer Dinna Wisnu, Indonesia does not need to be concerned about this particular visit. Indonesia should be confident and even assertive in its dealings with the United States as the Americans are the ones who need to build relationships with Indonesia and other countries in the region.

“In fact, generally speaking, this needs to be responded in an assertive manner to show that Indonesia wants the US to have strong commitment to not use military means to achieve its interests in the area,” Dinna said, as quoted by


Photo courtesy of Agus Suparto, Presidential Photographer

For additional resources on Indonesian defense strategies, click here.

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