Military purpose, influence in Indonesia

August 29, 2008

Juwono Sudarsono, Jakarta

The Indonesian Defense Force was established from a myriad group of student brigades, guerrilla militias and irregulars representing ethnic, religious and provincial identities preceding proclamation of Indonesian independence in Aug. 1945.

These guerrilla forces and student brigades were imbued with the guiding ethos that defined latter-day Indonesian defense policy: “Total people’s warfare”, and later on, “total defense and security”.

All services of the Indonesian Military (TNI) are at once a fighting force (tentara kejuangan), a people’s force (tentara rakyat), a national force (tentara nasional) and a professional force (tentara profesional). Professionalism is deliberately subsumed under the preceding three guiding elements. Every single Indonesian soldier, sailor, airman and marine is honor-bound to think and act first and foremost as an Indonesian, to be “first in war, first in peace and first in emergency response”. Read the rest of this entry »