Friend and online colleague Evan Laksmana has compiled an excellent reading list of books on the Indonesian military (TNI), and I encourage those interested in Australia’s relations with Indonesia to check it out. Understanding the military’s role in Indonesia is necessary in understanding the opportunities and limitations of closer cooperation with Australia.
If you’re pressed for time or unable to access a library with those books, here are some relevant reports on the state of TNI’s reform (in reverse chronological order):
- Evan Laksmana, ‘Stirring from Beyond the Borders? American Military Assistance and Defense Reform in Indonesia’, Asia Centre, Paris, July 2011, available here.
- Leonard C. Sebastian and Iisgindarsah, ‘Assessing 12-year Military Reform in Indonesia: Major Strategic Gaps for the Next Stage of Reform’, RSIS Working Paper, April 2011, PDF here.
- Bruce Vaughn, ‘Indonesia: Domestic Politics, Strategic Dynamics, and U.S. Interests’, Congressional Research Service, January 2011, PDF here.
- Human Rights Watch, ‘Unkept Promise: Failure to End Military Business Activity in Indonesia’, 2010, available here.
- Marcus Mietzner, ‘The Politics of Military Reform in Post-Suharto Indonesia: Elite Conflict, Nationalism, and Institutional Resistance’, East-West Center Washington, 2006, PDF here.
Alternatively, Samantha Michaels and Ulma Haryanto produced this three part series on the state of TNI’s business practices, published in the Jakarta Globe in May this year.
Of note is Sebastian and Iisgindarsah’s report for its graphs and diagrams that show Indonesia’s defence spending, annual peacekeeper contributions, country origin of TNI armaments (the US ranks 1st, Australia 9th), and comparisons with other Southast Asian nations’ defence spending.
From the same report is a snapshot of the readiness levels of TNI’s armaments:
If I’ve missed anything, feel free to send me suggestions. Happy reading!
Image source: Sebastian and Iisgindarsah, 2011.