10 May 2013

The business of war

It's a racket.  Can't say that often enough. 

As reported in Spiegel online:
The German government has once again approved a controversial deal to export arms to a country with questionable democratic credentials. The German Security Council, which meets in secret, has approved a deal by defense firm Rheinmetall to export 104 Leopard 2 battle tanks to Indonesia.

In addition, 50 Marder 1A2 infantry fighting vehicles are to be delivered as part of the deal, as are 10 other military vehicles, including armored recovery vehicles, mobile bridges and military engineering vehicles...

Indonesia's interest in German arms had long been apparent, but Berlin had remained silent on its intentions. Previously, Indonesia had approached the Netherlands regarding its interest in acquiring Leopard tanks, which are widely considered to be the most modern battle tanks available. But the Dutch parliament declined to approve the deal due to concerns about the human rights situation in Indonesia. Jakarta then turned to Germany...

Jakarta [said] the anticipated deal was merely an effort to update its weapons systems and insisted the tanks would not be used against its own people, during protests, for example.
Right.  We believe that, because Indonesia is so likely to be involved in a land-based war...


  1. Land-based war? Indonesia? Against its own citzens? Never... They'll likely be used against people who should NOT, and many of whom do not want to be, Indonesian citizens: the first and natural non-asiatic inhabitants of a rather large island that used to be called Papua New Guinea, half of which - along with all of its potential mineral/agricultural/marine assets - was seized, er, annexed by Indonesia in 1969, following a dubiously "valid" referendum. Primitive people who hunt with spears were no competition against soldiers with rifles. Interested visitors to TYWKIWDBI can read all about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papua_(Indonesian_province)

  2. Indonesia is a horrid country for use of armor -- consisting primarily of islands. However, their existing military includes 400-500 tanks, purchased in the 1960's it looks like. So getting 100 tanks to replace some of their 50 year old ones, doesn't seem to be strange -- its not like they don't have any already.

    I also note that Indonesia does participate in UN peacekeeping missions. A quick search showed they have had hundreds of troops supporting the UN in places like South Sudan and Haiti in the last couple of years. It's not uncommon for a country to also bring armored vehicles for security in places like those.

    I also note that Singapore -- right next to Indonesia (on an island no less!) has 132 Leopard tanks!!

  3. Also: Has Indonesia in the past used tanks against its own population? And if so, would it matter for civilians, wether the tanks they face are more or less modern?

    International armstrade in tanks and submarines is really mostly harmless. It's helicopters, pickup trucks, handguns, rifles and mobile rocket and artillery systems you should worry about.

    BTW: Who's goona give weapons to Syria's opposition? And how is Libya today?


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