Cover: The Military and Democracy in Indonesia

The Military and Democracy in Indonesia

Challenges, Politics, and Power

Published May 1, 2002

by Angel Rabasa, John Haseman


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The Indonesian military, with its tradition of secular nationalism, is one of the few institutions that cut across the divides of Indonesian society. As it continues to play a critical part in determining Indonesia's future development, the military itself is undergoing profound change. The authors of this book explore the role of the military in politics and society since the fall of President Suharto in 1998. They examine key research issues that are central to the strategic interests of the United States in Asia: Will the Indonesian military be a constructive force supporting democratic processes or will it opt for authoritarian solutions? What are some realistic goals for further progress on military reform? And how can the United States engage the Indonesian military most effectively to help bring about positive change? To answer these questions, the authors present several strategic scenarios for Indonesia, each of which has important implications for U.S.-Indonesian relations, and propose goals for Indonesian military reform and elements of a U.S. engagement policy.

"Drawing on personal experience in the region and a series of interviews with senior TNI leaders, RAND analyst Angel Rabasa and former U.S. Defense Attaché Colonel John Haseman provide a concise primer on the TNI and what the United States might expect in the near future… The study is an excellent factual introduction to current security issues in Indonesia."

- Military Review, June 2004

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Smith Richardson Foundation. The research was conducted through the International Security and Defense Policy Center (ISDPC) of RAND's RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD).

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