Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Military of Indonesia
|Tentara Nasional Indonesia|
|Military age||18 years of age|
|Availability||males age 15-49: 62,948,286 (2000 est.)|
|Fit for military service||males age 15-49: 36,826,282 (2000 est.)|
|Reaching military age annually||males: 2,273,324 (2000 est.)|
|Dollar figure||$1 billion (FY98/99)|
|Percent of GDP||1.3% (FY98/99)|
Indonesia's armed forces (Indonesian: Tentara Nasional Indonesia, or TNI, formerly ABRI) total about 250,000 members, including the army, navy, marines, and air force. The army is by far the largest, with about 196,000 active-duty personnel. Defence spending in the national budget is only 1.8% of GDP but is supplemented by revenue from many military-run businesses and foundations.
The Indonesian National Police were for many years a branch of the armed forces. The police were formally separated from the military in April 1999, a process which was formally completed in July 2000. With 150,000 personnel, the police form a much smaller portion of the population than in most nations. The total number of national and local police in 2002 was approximately 270,000.
Political role of the military
During the Suharto era, the military was sometimes said to have a "dual function" (dwifungsi) in Indonesia; first, it would preserve the internal and external security of the country, preserving it as a unified nation, and second, it would insure that government policy followed a path that the military leadership felt was wise.
This justified 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 parliament. 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 confrontation with Malaysia, although competing South China Sea claims, where Indonesia has large natural gas reserves, concern the Indonesian government. Without a credible external threat in the region, the military's primary role in practice has been to assure internal security. Military leaders now say they wish to transform the military to a professional, external security force but acknowledge that the armed forces will continue to play an internal security role for some time.
In the post-Suharto period since 1998, civilian and military leaders have advocated removing the military from politics (for example, the military's representatives in parliament have been much reduced), but the military's political influence remains extensive.
The Indonesian Navy purchased a number of ships of the former East German navy in the 1990s.
As of 2005 the Indonesian Air Force is having a logistics crisis, especially for the F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-4 Skyhawks that account for almost 80% of the total number of Indonesian fighter aircraft. The spare parts supply from the United States was stopped due to an embargo imposed on Indonesia because of a number of violations against civil and human rights in East Timor. This has lead to the grounding of most of the Western-made fighters.
In response to this embargo, in 2003 the Indonesian Air Force bought two Sukhoi Aerospace Su-37 Flankers, and two Sukhoi Aerospace Su-30 Flanker-D. Along with the fighter comes the armament, the AA-10 Alamo air-to-air missile.
- 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.
- 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
- Kingsbury, Damien. 2003. Power politics and the Indonesian military. London: RoutledgeCurzon.
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