The Military and Democracy in Indonesia

The Military and Democracy in Indonesia: Challenges, Politics, and Power

Angel Rabasa
John Haseman
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 184
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1599srf
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  • Book Info
    The Military and Democracy in Indonesia
    Book Description:

    The military is one of the few institutions that cut across the divides of Indonesian society. As it continues to play a critical part in determining Indonesia's future, the military itself is undergoing profound change. The authors of this book examine the role of the military in politics and society since the fall of President Suharto in 1998. They present several strategic scenarios for Indonesia, which have important implications for U.S.-Indonesian relations, and propose goals for Indonesian military reform and elements of a U.S. engagement policy.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3402-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. FIGURES
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. TABLES
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. SUMMARY
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. ACRONYMS AND DEFINITIONS
    (pp. xxiii-xxv)
  9. [Map]
    (pp. xxvi-xxvi)
  10. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-4)

    Indonesia has been described as the least known of the world’s most important countries. Its importance derives from well-known geopolitical factors. It is the world’s fourth most populous country and the largest Muslim-majority country, with a population and a land mass almost as large as those of the rest of Southeast Asia combined, vast natural resources and economic potential, and a strategic location straddling critical sea lanes and straits—all of which makes it the key to Southeast Asia’s security. A stable, strong, and democratic Indonesia could resume its leadership role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), further...

  11. PART I— THE TNI

    • Chapter Two ORIGINS AND INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDONESIAN ARMED FORCES
      (pp. 7-24)

      Indonesia came into being as the successor state to the Netherlands East Indies, a sprawling colonial empire of more than 14,000 islands between the Asian mainland and Australia. The Dutch had cobbled together this empire over a period of 300 years from an array of independent indigenous states and sultanates. From the beginning, the army held a unique position in the state because of its instrumental role in securing Indonesia’s independence from the Dutch.

      The Indonesian national military, TNI, was officially established on October 5, 1945, to defend the Republic’s independence, which had been proclaimed on August 17, 1945, two...

    • Chapter Three DOCTRINAL CHANGE: FROM “TOTAL PEOPLE’S DEFENSE AND SECURITY” TO THE “NEW PARADIGM”
      (pp. 25-30)

      There already has been far-reaching change in the decades-long doctrine and organizational structure that are familiar to the entire Indonesian army and TNI hierarchy. At the same time, the looming requirement to adapt, change, and even eliminate missions, organizational structures, and doctrines gleaned throughout the course of a military career has created a stressful environment for military personnel at every level.

      There has been a plethora of suggestions from nonmilitary observers as to the changes needed in the structure and organization of the Indonesian military. Some of the most far-reaching changes called for since the fall of Suharto include eliminating...

    • Chapter Four CHANGES IN THE INTELLIGENCE FUNCTION
      (pp. 31-34)

      Besides the armed forces and the police, the intelligence agencies constitute the third pillar of Indonesia’s security apparatus. Under Suharto, the intelligence function resided in a plethora of organizations, the most important of which were the Strategic Intelligence Agency, Badan Intelijen Strategis (BAIS), responsible for military and foreign intelligence (through its control of the Indonesian defense attachés), and the State Intelligence Coordinating Board, Badan Koordinasi Intelijen Negara (BAKIN), redesignated the state intelligence agency, Badan Intelijen Negara (BIN), after the fall of Suharto. In addition, each army Kodam has an intelligence staff that reports through the Assistant for Intelligence to the...

    • Chapter Five THE CHANGING POLITICAL ROLE OF THE MILITARY
      (pp. 35-52)

      Until September 30, 1965, two forces stood in precarious balance in President Sukarno’s so-called guided democracy—the military and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), then the third-largest communist party in the world and an increasingly influential factor in Sukarno’s government. Sukarno, Indonesia’s founding president, had led the country through a period of unstable parliamentary democracy until 1959, when he discarded the system of checks and balances that had produced a political stalemate and introduced an authoritarian system called “guided democracy.” Under this guided democracy, the PKI and its affiliated mass organizations, with Suharto’s backing, vastly expanded their membership and influence....

    • Chapter Six INSIDE THE TNI: CAREER PATTERNS, FACTIONALISM, AND MILITARY COHESION
      (pp. 53-68)

      As with most military organizations, there are a number of career paths within the Indonesian armed forces that lead to success and promotion to leadership positions. Within the air force and the navy, careers as pilots and ship captains remain the traditional paths to the top ranks. This chapter focuses on the army, which dominates the TNI in size, influence, and number of incumbents in the most senior leadership positions.

      The majority of the TNI’s most senior officers—of all branches of service—come from the military academy system. All cadets attend the military academy at Magelang for the first...

    • Chapter Seven THE MILITARY’S FUNDING AND ECONOMIC INTERESTS
      (pp. 69-78)

      Discipline, organization, and unity are three important keys to the TNI’s strength, both as an institution and as a major player in national politics. A fourth key to its strength is its economic power. The TNI receives only a fraction of its funding from the central government budget. Most of its funds come from off-budget sources that no outside observer has been able to quantify. As Samego et al. (1998a, pp. 25–26) point out, not only does the military require complementary resources for its national defense mission but, in the view of some observers, the military’s sociopolitical role requires...

  12. PART II— SECURITY CHALLENGES

    • Chapter Eight THE CHALLENGE OF TERRORISM AND RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM
      (pp. 81-90)

      Indonesia confronts security threats from four sources:

      1. Cells of international terrorist networks operating in Indonesia

      2. Domestic radical Islamic organizations

      3. Religious and ethnic conflicts

      4. Separatist movements.

      There are, of course, linkages between among threats. The nature of these linkages is not always clear and, in fact, represents one of the most challenging analytical issues in the study of Islamic terrorism and extremism in Southeast Asia. Since many of these groups share the same ideological orientation and biases, it has been relatively easy for the international terrorist groups to infiltrate and influence the domestic radical organizations. Nevertheless, while there are varying degrees...

    • Chapter Nine COMMUNAL CONFLICT IN EASTERN AND CENTRAL INDONESIA
      (pp. 91-98)

      The upsurge of radical Islam throughout Indonesia is intimately tied to the outbreak of communal conflict in the Moluccas, which subsequently spread to other parts of eastern and central Indonesia. The violence was triggered by an apparently trivial incident, an altercation between a Christian bus driver and two Muslim passengers at the Ambon bus terminal in January 1999. Within hours of the incident, fighting spread throughout the city and then to the nearby islands of Haruku, Saparua, Seram, and Manipa (“Maluku: The Conflict,” 2001).

      The causes of the conflict are the subject of much controversy. Christians blame Muslim radicals seeking...

    • Chapter Ten SEPARATIST MOVEMENTS IN ACEH AND PAPUA
      (pp. 99-110)

      Most Indonesians view the insurgency in Aceh as the most serious current challenge to the Republic’s territorial integrity. The province of Aceh, with four million inhabitants and located at the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, is according to some historians the region where Islam first entered both the archipelago and Southeast Asia. Up until the late 19th century, the province was a fiercely independent sultanate that had existed as a sovereign entity for roughly 500 years. It was conquered by the Dutch only after a protracted war (1873–1903) that cost the lives of some 10,000 colonial troops....

  13. PART III— THE FUTURE OF U.S.–INDONESIAN MILITARY RELATIONS

    • Chapter Eleven THE ROCKY COURSE OF U.S.–INDONESIAN MILITARY RELATIONS
      (pp. 113-120)

      In Sukarno’s latter years, Jakarta’s policy ofkonfrontasi(confrontation) with Malaysia and growing alignment with the Soviet Union and the Beijing-line PKI generated a serious threat to U.S. security interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The fall of Sukarno and the emergence of Suharto’s New Order marked a sharp change in the direction of Indonesia’s foreign and security policy and in U.S.–Indonesian relations. Under Suharto, Indonesia became a pillar of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, established in 1967, and of the new U.S.–backed informal regional security system. Despite the coincidence of U.S. and Indonesian strategic interests, the U.S.–...

    • Chapter Twelve STRATEGIC SCENARIOS FOR INDONESIA AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS
      (pp. 121-130)

      Although Indonesia’s future is highly uncertain, several conditions can be expected to hold for the next several years:

      First, a sustained economic recovery is not on the horizon. Although the economy (i.e., the GDP) grew at a rate of 3.5 percent in 2001, the underlying causes of the country’s economic weakness—large private and public debt and the insolvency of much of the corporate and banking sectors—remain unresolved.

      Second, the political system will remain under stress. The Megawati government has been unable to make headway on economic reform or to show much administrative competency, but the opposition parties have...

    • Chapter Thirteen GOALS FOR INDONESIAN MILITARY REFORM AND ELEMENTS OF A U.S. ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY
      (pp. 131-138)

      The tensions that Indonesia is currently experiencing are certain to continue and, as noted in Chapter Twelve, could lead to a variety of outcomes. Given the importance of stability and orderly change in Indonesia, the United States and the U.S. military would do well to engage the Indonesian military in order to shape its response to changes in the country’s political environment and to hedge against the downside of change.

      Cooperation between the U.S. and Indonesian military has been intermittent and plagued by tensions over East Timor and human rights issues and by congressionally mandated sanctions. However, the democratization of...

  14. Appendix CAN INDONESIA MEET THE LEAHY AMENDMENT CONDITIONS?
    (pp. 139-142)
  15. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 143-156)
  16. ABOUT THE AUTHORS
    (pp. 157-158)