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The reform of the Indonesian armed forces

journal contribution
posted on 2000-08-01, 00:00 authored by Damien KingsburyDamien Kingsbury
Indonesia’s armed forces have played a dominant role in domestic politics from 1957 under their so-called “dual function”. While the armed forces consolidated in the early Soeharto period, a significant faction later came to challenge his authority, contributing to his resignation from the presidency. This marked the beginning of the armed forces’ reform movement, and its transition away from the political arena. Despite its reform orientation, under the Habibie presidency the armed forces were a stronger (and united) political actor. This carried over into the presidency of Abdurrahman Wahid. However, as a consequence of the reform movement within the armed forces and with the assistance of Abdurrahman, the armed forces have splintered into several factions. This factionalism has given greater strength to the reform movement within the armed forces, and may contribute to the strengthening of democracy in Indonesia.

History

Journal

Contemporary Southeast Asia

Volume

22

Issue

2

Pagination

302 - 321

ISSN

0129-797X

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