Indonesia's military chief axed an Australian training program out of fear his troops would be recruited

Elite Indonesian army counter-terrorist Kopassus commandos. Photo: Romeo Gacad/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Indonesia has suspended all military cooperation with Australia.

It comes after Indonesia’s military chief General Gatot Nurmantyo reportedly axed a training program with Australia out of fear that the local government was poaching Indonesia’s best soldiers.

According to a previous speech uncovered by the ABC, Nurmantyo said: “Every time there is a training programme — like recently — the best five or 10 students would be sent to Australia. That happened before I was chief so I let that happen.

“Once I became chief commander of the national forces, it did not happen again. They will certainly be recruited. They will certainly be recruited.”

On Wednesday Indonesia suspended all military cooperation between the two countries after an instructor with the Indonesian special forces group, Kopassus, was insulted by a document at a training base in Perth.

According to the journalist who broke the news, Iwan Ong Santoso, the document mocked Indonesia’s key principle of Pancasila with the use of the word “Pancagila”, which is broadly translated as “crazy Indonesians” and is highly offensive.

Indonesia’s defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu is expected to meet with Australia’s counterpart, Marise Payne, to discuss the issue.

The ABC has more.

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