NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
The Republic of Indonesias ROI recent maritime strategy, articulated in the Global Maritime Fulcrum GMF in 2014 by newly-elected President Joko Widodo, describes an aspirational set of strategic maritime interests in support of a greater Indonesian leadership role in Southeast Asia. Given these strategic interests, the ongoing transformation and modernization of the Indonesian Navy to field the Minimum Essential Force MEF by 2024 represents a significant strategy misalignment between ends and means. An analysis of the economic means available to acquire the MEF demonstrates that the MEF force structure is unaffordable. Comparing capabilities to mission requirements highlights the MEFs shortfall in capabilities to achieve ROIs strategic maritime interests. Finally, the MEF undermines existing regional cooperation frameworks because it is a destabilizing influence, it is inadequate at deterring Chinas territorial assertiveness, and it reduces the potential effectiveness of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN in addressing regional issues. The author concludes with several recommendations for how the United States might support ROI in addressing these challenges. However, ROI will need to make difficult decisions about what it can do and what it should do to resolve this strategic misalignment.