The role of the armed forces in Indonesia's politics has undergone significant transformation in the country's transition to democracy. During the Suharto era, as prescribed in the then "Dual Function" doctrine, the armed forces played a key role in maintaining law, order and stability, and were deeply involved in governance. The fall of Suharto's New Order in 1998 has led to a peaceful withdrawal of Indonesia's armed forces as an entity with a political role.
Despite the military's withdrawal from a political role, how far has the defense reform gone since 1998, and what constitutes successful reform of a post-authoritarian military? What areas have made substantial progress and which have stagnated, and why?
Evan A. Laksmana will address these issues in Indonesia's defense reform process. He will also discuss the state of military effectiveness, issues in defense management and efficiency, and the role the role of the parliament, civil society institutions, and the international community such as the US in the reform process.
Please join us on February 23, 2012 for this fresh overview of the state of Indonesia's military reform and current issues.
Evan A. Laksmana is currently a Fulbright Presidential Ph.D. Scholar in Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs of Syracuse University, New York. Before coming to Maxwell, he conducted research on defense reform, civil-military relations, and regional security as a researcher with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta. He has also taught defense economics and strategic policy at the Indonesian Defense University, Indonesian Air Force Staff and Command College, and Parahyangan Catholic University. Previously, he was an Advanced Security Cooperation (ASC) Fellow at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu and an analyst with Singapore's Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies. He was also a visiting associate fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His writings on defense and foreign affairs have appeared in Defence Studies, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, Harvard Asia Quarterly, Foreign Policy, World Politics Review, The Diplomat, Asia Pacific Defence Reporter, Asia-Pacific Bulletin, The Jakarta Post, Straits Times, and others. Laksmana holds a BA in Political Science from Parahyangan Catholic University, Indonesia and a M.Sc. in Strategic Studies from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, which was supported by a Research Analyst Award.