La course à l’armement asiatique prend de l’ampleur

Le retour à la prospérité de l’Asie du Sud-Est après la crise financière de 1997 a entraîné de folles dépenses en nouvelles armes dans toute la région. La plupart des pays sud-asiatiques sont en effet très occupés à moderniser leurs armées. La majorité l’avaient fait jusqu’à présent sans compromettre leur autonomie en matière de sécurité. Mais aujourd’hui, la course militaire de la Chine soulève de nombreuses inquiétudes et beaucoup de gouvernements de la région se sont mis à collaborer avec des puissances extérieures.

C’est peut-être le président indonésien Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono qui a pris le plus d’assurance. Il est non seulement devenu plus actif dans le domaine de la diplomatie mondiale, mais il va aussi rencontrer le président russe Vladimir Poutine à Moscou ce mois-ci pour discuter de l’achat à la Russie de ses plus récents chasseurs. L’Indonésie veut former un escadron de défense aérienne composé de 12 jets, avec huit fighters russes pour compléter les deux Su-27SK et Su-30MKM russes qu’elle a déjà achetés.

Singapour a quant à lui apparemment choisi d’acheter 12 nouveaux chasseurs F-15SG aux États-Unis. Le Premier Ministre thaïlandais, Thaksin Shinawatra, a rencontré Poutine l’année dernière et s’est timidement engagé à acheter 12 Su-30MKM. La Malaisie, elle, a accepté d’acheter 18 Su-30MKM au cours des deux prochaines années, alors que le Vietnam a acheté 36 SU-27SK, dont 12 sont déjà en service.

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