It played a pivotal role during the war of independence against the Dutch colonial rule. The Indonesian military continued to stamp its ascendency in Indonesia’s political and economic spheres during 32 years of Suharto’s presidency.
The role of the Indonesian military in politics however came to an end after the fall of former President Suharto in May 1998 in the midst of a severe economic crisis as public protests grew over rampant corruption, cronyism and nepotism within the government and the Suharto family.
Today, the Indonesian military exists as a professional fighting force which remains subservient to the civilian leadership. How is Indonesia able to thrive as the world’s third largest democracy when several others fail?
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