The impact of military expenditure and security programs on political and economic development in Indonesia

by Guy J. Pauker

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A paper prepared for the Conference on Security and Development in the Indo-Pacific Arena, sponsored by The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. About 14.65 percent of the budget of Indonesia for the fiscal year April 1, 1978 to March 31, 1979 is for national defense and security. The author estimates that this figure is 4.25 of the Gross Domestic Product, which is higher than that of Japan or the Philippines. After a brief history of the economic, military, and political development in Indonesia, the author reviews current guidelines and practices. Development of defense and national security must be linked with the development of prosperity, and frugality in weapons acquisition and military recruitment are emphasized. The author concludes that the Indonesian military establishment is not an excessive economic burden on the country's total resources despite the fact that the officer corps has controlled all levels of government for the past 12 years.

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