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The Contender
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Could Australia beat Indonesia in an all-out war?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/4/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,779 times Debate No: 74728
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)




Could Australia defeat Indonesia in a war where allies of each country and the surrounding geo-politics become a factor? This is not taking into account nuclear weapons being used or threatened to be used.
My own belief is that, with allies, Australia could defeat Indonesia.


I accept. State your case.
Debate Round No. 1


My case:
Budget for Defence Force for Australia is $26.9 billion USD, which is three times that of Indonesia, which is $8.01 billion USD.
Aid to Indonesia from Australia is as of the 2014/15 bdget $605.3 million AUD, which would have a significant impact to Indonesia if cut.
The Australian Government has a net GDP of $1.52 trillion AUD while Indonesia has a net GDP of $878.19 billion USD.
There is a considerable distance between the two GDPs. The Australian Government would therefore have a considerably larger spending power over the Indonesian Government.


Aircraft: Australian pilots are recognised as some of the best in the world. Indonesian pilots are somewhat less recognised as good pilots.
Combat aircraft for Australia is 96 planes whilst Indonesia has only 69.
The combat aircraft for both are fairly new, design-wise but Australia have greater pilots and a larger number of aircraft available. So for Australia I presume would win the air and then proceed to bomb Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. Thus scaring the government officials and producing havoc on key buildings in the area.

Navy: Australia has 12 frigates and 6 submarines compared to the 7 Indonesian frigates and the 2 submarines.
The Australian Navy has 20 military patrol boats as of 2014 and the Indonesian Navy has 30 military patrol boats.
This could be a decisive lose for Indonesia as the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) would become involved and help out the RAN (Royal Australian Navy).

Summary: The Australian Government have a considerably higher spending 'power' over the Indonesian Government.
This would definitely have an impact with the war.
The RAAF could take control of the skies and thus strike into Indonesian territory.
The RAN would have a significant advantage over the Indonesian Navy with the combined strength of the RAAF and the RNA.
Without any control over the skies or sea, Indonesia could not invade Australia. But I believe that this is where things get tricky as the Australian Government would never allow Australian troops onto the Indonesian mainland because of the overwhelming number and advantages (terrain, etc.) the Indonesians would have over the Australians.
Eventually though the Indonesians would have to give up with the continual air strikes that the RAAF would launch.

The reasons why I didn't include the amount of troops and available manpower each country has is as explained above irrelevant.
Once again sorry about that type this is NOT taking into account alliances or surrounding geo-political factors.
Thanks for taking on the challenge!


Contention 1: Indonesia wins by 1.

That is by the Global Fire Power website. (

Subpoint 1: Budget and economics.

Despite the budget being three times as much I would like to point out a few other economic factors in where Indonesia defeats Australia. If we look at the purchase power of each nation we can see that Indonesia beats out Australia by 300 billion US dollars. Indonesia is at $1,285,000,000,000 to Australias $998,000,000,000. Thus meaning that if the war consumed each sides entire budget Indonesia would be able to beat out Australia. Not only that, but in the terms of tax revenue we can that Indonesia again beats out Australia in that game as well. The Indonesian labor force is 10 times that of the Australians, so once again productitivity can go through the roof in Indonesia, but the economy of Australia will fall.

Subpoint 2: Military

You want to talk military let's get into the Navy. Since the best way to invade another nation. Indonesia has 86 MRLs to Australias 0. Already showing that Indonesia could do a landing task right off the bat. They have 26 Corrvettes to Australias 0. Total Naval Fleet strength. 171-52 in favor of Indonesia and Indonesia has double Australia's mine war craft. For tanks Indonesia wins out 489 to Australia's whooping 59. So we can see that though it's close in air the Indonesians have complete controll of the land and sea.

We can see that for both reasons that my opponenet has stated that his side is better as I completely refuted and flipped that argument. Let it also be known that the Indonesians also have by far a lot larger military force than Australia and we can see that Indonesia can and would win this war.

Debate Round No. 2


Logistics of the War
Indonesia has a larger navy (quite sizeable in fact!) but many of the Indonesia ships are not up to scratch and according to Benjamin Schreer ( "Consequently, the Indonesian Navy has only fragments of a "green-water" capability, and it"s far from being a "balanced fleet", lacking investment in key areas such as long-range maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and mining/mine countermeasures. Part of the problem is that Indonesia doesn't have a maritime consciousness and remains very much a continental military power." What we can deduce from this statement is that Indonesia has a sizeable navy yet it is not modern compared to that of the Australian navy and in many areas these ships (a majority corvettes) are not even fit for sea.

Navy Battle(s)
The amazing thing too is that for a navy you must have a harbour/port, but Indonesia has only 9 that are large enough to support military grade ships. An air-strike on many of these harbours and ports would be devastating on the Indonesian Navy. Of course we do not know how many ships would be affected but all you need is to blow several holes through a ship to do serious damage or render it un-sailable. We can estimate that at any time a 10th of the navy would be out of these ports and harbour. When these ports/harbours are attacked by the Australian Air force we can assume that at least 40% to 50% of these ships will be immediately destroyed and maybe 25% rendered un-sailable. This would be a critical blow for the Indonesian Navy. So what we can assume is that the Indonesian Navy would be cut to 40 to 60 military grade ships against Australia's 52. The Indonesian Navy would be out-gunned by the RAN and the RAAF. This would eventually lead to the destruction of the Indonesian Navy thus protecting Australia from an invasion for the moment.

Review of Military and Labour
You have made good points Iannan 13 that the Indonesian Army completely out numbers the ADF and has giant advantageous if met on land, but this could never be the case as explained above. There would be simply no way that they could land in Australia with both their air-force and their navy gone. The labour force of Indonesian would be critical in the war effort of Indonesia, but (as explained previously) with the continuous bombing of important places the already discontent populace might be angered and spurred to go against the war effort. There is even a slight opportunity of the Government of Indonesia being toppled as stated in this very detailed report by Professor. Brian Martin

I think if Australia is quick to match the Indonesian assaults and uses the tactics presented against the Air-force bases and then at the Navy, Australia would have a very good chance of keeping the military might of the Indonesian army at bay, whilst the Indonesian populace get tired of the war (and maybe the government).

I would like to restate that even with the manpower and labour force of Indonesia, the rate at which the Indonesian air-craft would be replaced would not be enough as the Australian Government would not be idle in making their own planes and equipment needed to support the war.

I would like to thank you, Iannan 13, for choosing the con side. This has been quite educational for myself and hopefully everyone reading. May you go on to do many great things. (how do I send you a friend request?). Good day, Sir.


My friend I would like to differ. You see that the date on that is a year off of the source that I'm getting ready to give you. It appears now, a year later, that Indonesia's ships are top of the line and are of the same quality that can compete with the US. (

Dear US Navy: The Futuristic X3K Is What Littoral Combat Ships Should Be

Other pictures are in the comments section curteosy of VOT. We can also see that the Indonesian radar is way more advanced than the Australians and I will repeat myself as I showed last round that Indonesia has double that of mine and anti mine forces in which I gave a source comparing the two nations spot on. Here it is again. (

So we can see that Indonesia wins this battle here.

My opponent acts like the fact that he will win based on his air force being supperior, but remember that the numbers are very VERY close in the Air force so there will be a close fight. My opponent is also incorrect on the Indonesian Naval bases as Indonesia has 50+ naval bases in the nation. ( So we can see that once more my opponent's logic is flawed.

We can see that once again that with the Indonesian military being superior and the fact that Indonesia has more people and a better labor force the Indonesians can outproduce the Australians as well showing that the Australians will lose the war and I've already shown how the Indonesian Navy is better and the Army so we can see that we have no choice, but to vote Con as Indonesia will win this war.

Thank you.

Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
And the strongest radar platform is actually Japan's E-767.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
Nothing in the comments counts, @Pope.
Posted by Pope_of_Hermitan 3 years ago
What con also disagrees with is that there are over 50 naval bases in Indonesia. I was wrong in my information here and I am sorry. But there are only 11 naval bases (using the same source as con: ) that are capable of holding the most modern ships Indonesia has. The other 49 'bases' are very., very close together (most separated by just 8 kilometres!). The ship mentioned by Con burnt down a couple of years ago ( which is seen in the exact same article posted by Con. The Indonesian Navy have ordered a new improved version but this will not reach them until 2017. The US even culled the amount of these ships as they deemed these "...too expensive to prone to malfunctioning..." I am sorry Con but your argument for naval domination has just been found flawed.
Posted by Pope_of_Hermitan 3 years ago
I would like to say that the most advanced radar in the world is the Australian one. It is a joint program by both the Americans and the Australians. The radar is not fully expressed in the link because of course you are not going to give your only neighbour who can attack you the power of knowledge are you?
Posted by Russia_The_almighty 3 years ago
Just to clarify, quality wise, Austalia wins in airforce because of f-18 while the best thing Indonesia has in its airforce is a few Sukhoi su-35 which are not as good as the f-18.
Posted by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
I don't think Indonesia's navy is scrap:
Posted by Russia_The_almighty 3 years ago
It depends. With allies, Australia don't even try to dispute that. Without, its a tough fight. Indonesia has numbers while Australia has quality, ex. F-18 Super hornets owned by only them and 'Merica.
Posted by Luharis 3 years ago
Australia is also part of ANZUS, they would have the United States support in the war.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by The-Voice-of-Truth 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Sources to Con, as, well, he used the most reliable sources within the debate...duh. Args to Con as he showed how Indonesia's navy and army were superior to that of Australia's, and that it's airforce was pretty much equal. Finally, S&G to Con, as Con had slightly better punctuation, but spelling was equal for both debaters. I can elaborate on any points if either of the debaters request it of me.