– Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY)
Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (SBY)

West Point, 28 Dzulqa’dah 1435/23 September 2014 (MINA) – Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) said, using soft power (smart power) is more appropriate and effective to counter Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq and terrorism acts in all parts of the world.

“I believe, to counter terrorism we need to apply soft power or smart power,” the president said in a speech at West Point Military Academy, Orange Country, United States, Monday afternoon local time.

According to SBY, as reported by official presidential website, military action does not always produce an effective solution in resolving conflict, especially on terrorism issue. He was more confident on the soft power approach, which requires the completion of a comprehensive set of political solutions.

“This is not a military task, but it is the task of politicians, diplomats, religious leaders, and civil societies,” said SBY.

SBY assessed, ending the war is more difficult than starting it. It needs a strong commitment by the world’s political leaders to make the political and diplomatic option in pursuing their national interests.

The President gave an example of the completion of civil war in Aceh and Timor Leste during his reign. With strong political will, Indonesia only need two or three years to reach a peaceful reconciliation with East Timor after 25 years of conflict.

Indonesia also took soft approach through diplomacy and negotiation on border issues with neighboring countries.

“We know very well that the border problem can be easily transformed into open military conflict,” he said.

However, in some situations we do not always use soft approach through diplomacy and negotiation to end the conflict. The military should always be ready to perform their duties in defense of national interests.

During 10 years of experience leading Indonesia, SBY asserted that politicians may come and go.

“But if the relationship between the military and businesses is strong, then the politicians will think twice before declaring war. Because the war will ultimately affect the lives of the entire community, “said SBY.

On the occasion, the President also sent a message to the military academy to be a peacekeeping force for the progress of the country and the world. (T/P4/R01/R03/P3).

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)