Civil-military relations in the late Suharto era
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The Indonesian armed forces played an important role in building the nation and in making Indonesia independent ABRI, Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia or Indonesian Armed Forces was born as an army of national liberation, and it played an important role in politics from the beginning. After the failure of an attempted coup by the Indonesia Communist Party (PKI) on 30 September 1965, Suharto, as a commander, brought the military fully into the political arena. ABRI became embedded in the government, which meant that ABRI itself became the government. Some military officers began to have doubts about supporting Suharto without setting limits. As a result, Suharto took strong action and marginalized the military from its social political role. ABRI as an institution lost its authority, and it became a tool for the regime instead of a pioneer in the development of the nation. Under Suharto we can conclude that during 1965-1985 period, the Indonesian government could be classified as a "military regime." Then, after Suharto gradually began to push the military further from direct control over the government, the military lost whatever autonomy it might have exercised before. This is important because the type of authoritarian regime influences the chances for success of a new democracy. Given that the military had been pushed out of many aspects of government policy-making, lndonesia's new democracy should experience less civil-military conflict.
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