Military of Indonesia

Military of Indonesia

Infobox National Military

caption=Flag of Indonesia

commander-in-chief=General Djoko Santoso
manpower_data=2005 est.
amount=$4.74 billion (2008)
percent_GDP= 0,8%
The Armed Forces of Indonesia (Indonesian: "Tentara Nasional Indonesia", TNI, formerly "Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia", best known by the acronym ABRI comprises approximately 410,000 personnel including the Army (TNI-AD), Navy (TNI-AL) including the Indonesian Marine Corps ("Korps Marinir") and theAir Force (TNI-AU).

The Indonesian Army was initially formed during the War of Independence, when it participated in a guerrilla war along with informal militia. As a result of this, and the need to maintain internal security, the Army has been organized along territorial lines, aimed at defeating internal enemies and external invaders once they have occupied the nation *] ..

Under the 1945 Constitution, every citizen is legally entitled and obliged to defend the nation. Conscription is provided for by law, yet the Forces have been able to maintain mandated strength levels without resorting to a draft. Most enlisted personnel were recruited in their own home regions and generally trained and served most of their time in units nearby. Each service has small women's units, inaugurated in 1992.

These all-female Corps are the Women's Army Corps, the Navy Women's Corps, the Air Force Women's Corps, and the Women's Corps of the Police. These are to "set to work at places and in functions conform [ing] to their feminine disposition." More specifically, women were assigned to administrative work, to teaching English, and to working on improving health and social conditions of armed forces members and their families. The women police were said to "play an important role in solving problems [of] drug addicts and juvenile delinquents."]

The Indonesian Army is by far the largest, with about 303,000 active-duty personnel, compared to around 74,000 in the Navy and 33,000 in the Air Force.Fact|date=February 2008. The Indonesian armed forces are entirely voluntary. The available manpower fit for military service of males aged between 16 to 49 is 52,000,000, with a further 2,000,000 new suitable for service annually

Defense spending in the national budget was widely estimated 3% of GDP in 2005 , but is supplemented by revenue from many military-run businesses and foundations. The Indonesian Defence force personnel does not include members of law enforcement and paramilitary personnel such as POLRI (Indonesian police) consisting of approximately 380,000 personnel, BRIMOB [police mobile brigade] of around 39,000 armed personnel, MENWA [university student regiment] 26,000 trained personnel, and HANSIP [civilian defence] (number unknown).

Political role of the military

During the Suharto era, the military had a "dual function" ("dwifungsi" in Indonesian) defined as: firstly preservation and enforcement of internal and external security and sovereignty of the State and secondly, as an overseer and arbiter of government policy.This was used to justify substantial military interference in politics. Long-time president Suharto was an army general and was strongly supported by most of the military establishment. Traditionally a significant number of cabinet members had military backgrounds, while active duty and retired military personnel occupied a large number of seats in the legislature. Commanders of the various territorial commands played influential roles in the affairs of their respective regions.

Indonesia has not had a substantial conflict with its neighbours since the 1963-1965 Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, known in Indonesia as Konfrontasi with Malaysia, although competing Malaysian-Indonesian South China Sea claims, where Indonesia has large natural gas reserves, concern the Indonesian government. As of 2007, some regional claims with neighbouring Malaysia have led to some minor sabre-rattling by both sides with a stalemate over the sovereignty of Unarang rock and the maritime boundary in the Ambalat oil block in the Celebes Sea.

In the post-Suharto period since 1998, civilian and military leaders have advocated removing the military from politics (for example, the military's representation in the House of Representatives was reduced and finally ended), but the military's political influence remains extensive. The TNI has been notorious since the massacre of alleged pro-communists in 1965-6 and the East Timor Crisis. In both events, the TNI were alleged to have mistreated and killed hundreds, perhaps thousands of people.


Following a move in 1985, major reorganization separated the Ministry of Defense and Security [HANKAM] from the ABRI headquarters and staff. HANKAM was made responsible for planning, acquisition, and management tasks but had no command or control of troop units. The ABRI commander in chief retained command and control of all armed forces and continued by tradition to be the senior military officer in the country. Since the separation of the ministry from the armed forces headquarters in 1985, the HANKAM staff has been composed largely of retired military personnel. The split provided positions of responsibility for highly qualified but relatively young retired officers of the Generation of 1945 while also opening up high level billets in ABRI to younger active-duty officers who had been frustrated by slow rates of promotion.

The administrative structure of HANKAM consisted of a minister, secretary general, inspector general, three directorates general and a number of functional centers and institutes. The minister, inspector general, and three directors general were retired senior military officers; the secretary general (who acted as deputy minister) and most functional center chiefs were active-duty military officers.

Philosophy & Doctrine

The Indonesian military philosophy over-riding defense of the archipelago is summarily civilian-military defense, called "Total People's Defense"- consisting of a three-stage war: a short initial period in which invader would defeat a conventional Indonesian military, a long period of territorial guerrilla war followed by a final stage of expulsion- with military acting as a rallying point for defence from grass-roots village level upwards. The doctrine relies on a close bond between villager and soldier to encourage the support of the entire population and enable the military to manage all war-related resources. The civilian population would provide logistical support, intelligence, and upkeep with some trained to join the guerrilla struggle. Armed forces regular engage in large-scale community and rural development . The "Armed Forces Enters the Village" (AMD) program, begun in 1983 is held three times annually to organise and assist construction and development of civilian village projects .

Officer Training

The officer corps was estimated at 53,000 in 1992. Less than 1 percent of these were of general officer rank. The Armed Forces Academy of the Republic of Indonesia (Akabri), the national military academy at Magelang, Jawa Tengah Province trains most military and police officer corps. Mandatory retirement exists for officers at age fifty-five and routine periodic reassignments are enforced. The officer corps is majority ethnic Javanese


Army (TNI-AD)

First formed in 1945 following the end of World War 2, it initially consisted of local militia and grew to become the regular army of today.

Air Force (TNI-AU)

In 1946, Indonesia became the second country (after Thailand/Siam) in South East Asia to acquire an Air Force capability. Presently the Air Force operates 250 aircraft, including over 70 combat jets and 63 helicopters. There are 33,000 serving personnel in the Indonesian Air Force, 44% are operational from all planes' inventories.Fact|date=February 2008

Navy (TNI-AL)

First formed in 22 August 1945, it became the second country (after Thailand/Siam) in South East Asia to acquire a navy capability. Current strength of the Indonesian Navy is around 74,000. The Indonesian Navy purchased a number of ships of the former East German navy in the 1990s. Navy vessels include KRI Cobra and others. In 2006, Indonesian Navy purchased 2 "Kilo" class-636 conventional submarines, 2 Shipset Yakhont Missile and 20 BMP-3F amphibious light tank with option of 100 more BMP-3 from Russia. Indonesia also plan to buy landing craft ships from Russia [ [ Jitters as Indonesia buys Russian subs - World - ] ] . In contrast to many other nations and military traditions, the Navy uses Infantry style ranks [ [ Tentara Nasional Indonesia ] ]

Naval Aviation

All Indonesian Navy aircraft are operated by the Indonesian Naval Aviation Service (DINAS PENERBANGAN TNI-AL). The Indonesian Navy has also purchased 8 Mi-2 (now based in Surabaya), but only two have arrived because of problems with the Indonesian Navy's agency. The Navy operates 52 fixed wing aircraft, and 23 combat and transport helicopters. .

Marine Corps

The Indonesian Marine Corps (KorMar) is the Indonesian Navy's ground troops. It was created on November 15, 1945 and has the duties of being the main amphibious warfare force and quick reaction force of defence against enemy invasion.


While not strictly part of the armed forces, the national police often operate in a paramilitary role, independently or in cooperation with the other services on internal security missions. Indonesian Police use the name of POLRI (Kepolisian Republik Indonesia).

List of commanders

! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Name! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Years! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Notes
Lt. Gen. Urip Sumohardjo|| 1945 ||Position held on an interim basis] |
Lt. Gen. Sudirman || 1945-1950 || Position known as Great Commander of the People's Security Army ("Panglima Besar Tentara Keamanan Rakyat") |
Maj. Gen. TB Simatupang || 1950-1952 || Position known as Chief of Staff of the Battle Forces ("Kepala Staf Angkatan Perang") ||
Vacant ||1952-1968 || Position abolished by President Sukarno after the 17th October 1952 incident ||
Gen. Suharto|| 1968-1973 || Position known as Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia ("Panglima ABRI") as long as Minister of Defense and Security |
Gen. Maraden Panggabean || 1973-1978 || idem |
Gen. Andi Mohammad Jusuf || 1978-1983 || idem |
Gen. Benny Moerdani|| 1983-1988 || Also Commander of the Operational Command for the Restoration of Security and Order (Kopkamtib) |
Gen. Try Sutrisno|| 1988-1993 || |
Gen. Edi Sudrajat|| 1993 || Also Minister of Defense and Security and Chief of Staff of the Army |
Gen. Feisal Tanjung|| 1993-1998 || |
Gen. Wiranto|| 1998-1999 || Position known as Commander of the Indonesian National Army ("Panglima Tentara Nasional Indonesia") in 1999 as long as Minister of Defense and Security |
Adm. Widodo Adi Sutjipto|| 1999-2002 || |
Gen. Endriartono Sutarto|| 2002-2006 || |
ACM. Djoko Suyanto || 2006-2007 || |
Gen. Djoko Santoso || 2007-present || |

US Arms Embargo

Following the 2004 Aceh tsunami the United States government suspended the spare parts embargo for non-lethal equipment and military vehicles to support the humanitarian effort in the tsunami-devastated regions of Aceh and Nias. Since then the Indonesian Air Force has signed deals to purchase more C-130 transport aircraft and upgrade the current C-130s in the inventory.

On 22 November 2005, the U.S. announced that military ties with Indonesia would be restored. The decision had ended the six-year U.S. ban on arms sales. [ [ National, World and Business News | ] ]


* Library of Congress Studies, [] , accessed 25 July 2008 @ 07:55 GMT.
* CIA World Factbook [] , accessed 25 July 2008 @ 07:55 GMT.
* Indonesian Official Military Site [] , acessed 25 July 2008 @ 08:50 GMT

Further reading

*Bresnan, John. (1993). "Managing Indonesia: the modern political economy". New York: Columbia University Press.
**Many topics, including the political role of the military at the height of Suharto's New Order.
*Chandra, Siddharth and Douglas Kammen. (2002). "Generating Reforms and Reforming Generations: Military Politics in Indonesia’s Transition to Democracy." "World Politics," Vol. 55, No. 1.
*Crouch, Harold. (1988). "The army and politics in Indonesia". Ithaca:Cornell University Press.
**First published 1978. Now somewhat dated, but provides an influential overview of the role of the military in consolidating Suharto's power
*Kammen, Douglas and Siddharth Chandra. (1999). "A Tour of Duty: Changing Patterns of Military Politics in Indonesia in the 1990s." Ithaca, NY: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project No. 75.
*Kingsbury, Damien. (2003). "Power politics and the Indonesian military". London: RoutledgeCurzon.
*Lowry, Bob (1993). "Indonesian Defence Policy and the Indonesian Armed Forces", Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence No.99, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University
*Library of Congress Studies, (, acessed 25 July 2008 @ 07:55 GMT.
*CIA World Factbook, accessed 25 July 2008 @ 07:55 GMT.
*Indonesian Official Military Site, acessed 25 July 2008 @ 08:50 GMT

External links

* [ Official Website of TNI]
* [ Official Website of TNI-AD (Army)]
* [ Official Website of TNI-AL (Navy)]
* [ Official Website of Polri (Indonesian Police)]
* [ Official Website of the Department of Defense]
* [ : Indonesia]
* [ Unofficial Site Of Indonesian Armed Forces]
* [ Unofficial Site Of Indonesian Special Forces]
* [ Indonesian Civil-Military Relations] - Civil-Military Relations in Post-Suharto Indonesia and the Implications for Democracy Today: A Preliminary Analysis
* [ "Guerilla Warfare and the Indonesian Strategic Psyche" Small Wars Journal article by Emmet McElhatton]

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