Civil Supremacy and Reform of the Military

Mar 29th, 2006, in News, by

A soon to be published paper called “Civil Supremacy and Reform of the Military” casts some light on the possible situation in west Papua and on the state of the Indonesian military generally.

Written by Liem Soei Liong, in Amsterdam, and due to appear in the April 2006 edition of the London based TAPOL or Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, the paper says, among many other things,:

It is often argued that brutality by TNI [Indonesian Armed Forces] soldiers in places like East Timor in the past, West Papua or till very recent in Aceh is the result of a lack of professionalism and the basics of military training. This is not something that happens only in Indonesia; in many countries around the world, the military in combat behave very ruthlessly towards the local population. It is a fact that wars in the last fifty years have increasingly victimised the population. One explanation is that the military are not capable of pacifying a region and start behaving in a brutal way as the result of a lack of confidence, to such an extent that resistance from the local population is bound to intensify.

If one assesses the TNI’s performance on the battlefield, in particular in East Timor and Aceh, it can be concluded that it has performed woefully and was never capable of containing any security threats. The reason is lack of proper training and suitable equipment and the lack of an appropriate mindset. The basics of the TNI are indeed fundamentally flawed. Juwono Sudarsono, the defence minister, has admitted that the 380,000 TNI troops have ‘no deterrent capability’. Only 65 of the navy’s 121 ships and half of the air force’s 114 aircraft are operational, while most of the army’s 100-odd battalions are below-strength, under-equipped and under-trained.

Read all of Civil Supremacy and Reform of the Military.

2 Comments on “Civil Supremacy and Reform of the Military”

  1. R. Patterson says:

    I’m afraid your military does have the reputation of being brutal , even murderous, and there does not appear to be any accountability at all. No accountability from the Indonesian government means that the Indonesian Government acquiesces or it is frightened of its military or both. This area of the world NEEDS a strong independent thoroughly democratic Indonesia where the civilian Government is in charge of its military. R. Patterson

  2. Dragonwall says:

    You said they brutal, how come? Take a closer look. They are actually politcally motivated in coerced into being brutal. This we have to accept the fact. During those period of brutality who were their commanders? Who were they linked to? Why were they taking such action. I am sure in the military there is a line of command. No order No action.

    In fact the Indonesian government should remove all religions away from political scene. But sad to say majority of the population were easily influenced by their uelamas. JI, Muhhamidyah, NU, whatever.

    If they are able to remove that main factor Indonesia could be democratic and revive into modern day Indonesia.

    Indonesia is today back into the stone age controlled by religious zombies with threats and reprisals.

    The military were underpaid and over work. All work and no pay makes Jack a Dull Boy.

    Until and after the Soeharto Era, Indonesia began to move backward from year to year. Incompetent military commanders, politician, DPR, MPR and cabinets ministers. The Indonesian government is controlled by religion. All their hands are tied.

    You can Reform and revamped the Civil Servants or the Military as many time as you possibly could but in the end Indonesia will still remain the same. NO CHANGE.

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