Jakarta, .- The Acting Secretary of Defense of the United States, Patrick Shanahan, announced today that his country will increase collaboration and training with Indonesia in the areas of terrorism and regional maritime security during an official visit to Jakarta.
The acting secretary said at a press conference with the Indonesian Defense Minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, that they will strengthen the joint military exercises, increase the exchange of intelligence, carry out educational initiatives and increase the cooperation capacity of their armies.
“There are many things we have in common in terms of threats, which I consider opportunities, such as our ability to work in counterterrorism and our ability to work on awareness of the maritime domain,” Shanahan told the defense ministry.
In particular, Unit 81 of the special forces (Kopassus) of the Army, which is responsible for counter-terrorism and intelligence operations, will receive training by the US Department of Defense from next year.
Shanahan and Ryamizard also saw increased cooperation in the South China Sea, a strategic commercial and military area in which the Peking regime maintains territorial disputes with the Philippines, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.
The visit is part of Shanahan’s first tour of the Indo-Pacific region as acting secretary, which began on Tuesday in Hawaii, and follows an increase in tensions between the United States and Iran and North Korea.
Last week, US President Donald Trump announced the deployment of 1,500 additional military personnel in the Middle East to protect his troops from “clues” of Iranian offensive plans.
Shanahan said the reinforcement includes extending the deployment of 600 troops from a Patriot battalion of surface-to-air missiles and 900 new soldiers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The secretary will attend the Sangri-la regional security dialogue forum in Singapore tomorrow, where Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe is also expected to attend and then visit South Korea and Japan.
Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world – about 88% of more than 265 million inhabitants – has several jihadist groups related to the Islamic State, of which Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid is responsible for the bloodiest attacks in the world. last years. (EFE)