The declining socio-political role of the Indonesian military
Cheong, Keng Soon
Olsen, Edward A.
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The Indonesian military has played a significant socio-political role since the independence struggle against the Dutch. Subsequently, the military continued its socio-political intervention, influencing political decisions in the military, domestic and international arenas. Most scholars consider the New Order regime (1966-1998) to have been one dominated by the military. However, this thesis concludes that the level of the military's socio-political participation has been declining in recent years. It also aims to present some reasons for this decline. The analysis involved the examination of the levels and types of military prerogatives and contestations the military exercised against the civilian leadership, allowing for both objective and subjective analyses to be conducted. The analysis conducted demonstrated that the Indonesian military's socio political role had been eroded in recent years. Suharto's policies featured prominently as causes of this decline; but pressures from within the military, Indonesian society as well as international pressures also dictated a reduction in the military's socio-political role. This reduction will continue into the future, although a total elimination of the military's socio-political role remains highly unlikely.
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