Military


HANKAM Ministry of Defense and Security

In 1985 a major reorganization separated the Ministry of Defense and Security [HANKAM] from the ABRI headquarters and staff. HANKAM was 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 highlevel billets in ABRI to younger active-duty officers who had been frustrated by slow rates of promotion.

The administrastive 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.

As part of the post-Suharto reform program, each of Suharto’s successors as president has appointed a civilian as minister of defense. However, each of these ministers has remained outside the military chain of command. A major goal of political reformers is to restructure the chain of command to place the TNI under genuine civilian control. This intent was reflected in the policy guidance contained in the military law passed by the DPR in 2004, but there was no time schedule for effecting such a major change. The TNI commander retains command and control of all armed forces, in the meantime, and continues by tradition to be the senior Indonesian military officer. Since the separation of the Department of Defense from the armed forces headquarters in 1985, the department’s staff has been composed largely of active-duty and retired military personnel.

A central element of the transformation of Indonesia into a stable and prosperous democracy is the continuing evolution of the Indonesian military, or TNI, into a modern, professional, civilian-controlled force focused on external security. The Indonesian public has rejected a formal role for the military in politics, and the TNI has remained professional and out of politics during Indonesia's democratic transition. Major reforms of the security forces include:

  • The establishment of a police force separate from the military.
  • The end of the military ``dual function'' system that placed military officers in civilian government positions.
  • The end of military and police appointed seats in Parliament in 2004.
  • The passage of legislation in 2004 to ensure that the Parliament begins to exert control over the military's business interests.

President Yudhoyono and Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono were committed to implementing and consolidating these reforms. Sudarsono was Indonesia's first civilian Defense Minister and worked to strengthen civilian control over the budgetary and procurement process. The Indonesian legislature in 2004 passed an armed forces law that made clear the importance of democratic values, civilian supremacy, and respect for human rights. The TNI has also supported the Aceh peace process.

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