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114 7 Professionalism without reform: the security sector under Yudhoyono Jacqui Baker In October 2014, the Indonesian National Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia , TNI) held the biggest military parade in the nation’s history, complete with F16s whistling overhead, battleships and hundreds of military vehicles. This display of force was a farewell to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who left behind a legacy of military modernisation and an emphasis on professionalism (Faridz 2014). From the podium Yudhoyono declared: We have witnessed together advancements that make us proud: our defence posture is increasingly strong, our heavy weaponry is increasingly comprehensive and modern, the capacity and professionalism of the TNI is increasingly heightened, and we have finished and completed the reform of the TNI. We are thankful for the last ten years, and we have developed strength and modernisation well (Rizki 2014). A few months earlier, on 1 July 2014, the anniversary of the founding of the Indonesian National Police (Polisi Republik Indonesia, Polri), the president spoke of his hopes to transform Indonesia’s police into a ‘world-class’ force. Modernisation of equipment and technology was crucial to developing that professionalism. Apart from terrorism, he said, ‘your job is to bust criminals. Protect the community. That’s it’ (Firdaus 2014). Professionalism through modernisation was the cornerstone of Yudhoyono’s ten-year governance of the security sector. Military professionalism was a longstanding theme in the president’s intellectual history. But what did he mean by it? In 1990, on the precipice of the New Order’s long decline, Yudhoyono presented a paper on military professionalism to the Army Staff and Command College (Sekolah Staf dan Komando Angkatan Darat, Seskoad) (Yudhoyono 1990). In it he rejected the liberal preoccupation with civilian supremacy over the Update book 2014-15.indb 114 19/04/2015 11:39 am Professionalism without reform: the security sector under Yudhoyono   115 military as a Western import. He argued that officers of the Indonesian Armed Forces (Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia, ABRI) should be professional, not liberal-democratic, and that ABRI’s professionalism did not limit the force to one neat category, ‘soldier’, ‘nation-builder’, ‘leader’ or ‘state functionary’. ABRI was all these things and as long as it adhered to professionalism, morality, security expertise, solidarity, leadership , unity and closeness to the people, then it would remain the only institution able to deliver security and stability amidst development. Honna (2003: 77–9) described Yudhoyono’s idea of professionalism as a catch-all concept directed against the threat of social change. Yudhoyono ’s later writings in the hothouse of the New Order’s breakdown urged ABRI to embrace a new paradigm of ‘professionalism, effectiveness , efficiency and modernity’ (Yudhoyono 1998). If ABRI wanted to survive in the face of national crisis and social ‘judgment’, the institution had to strengthen its capacity and adopt a professional posture. The idea of Yudhoyono as a military conservative suggested by this record belies his role in modern Indonesian history. In accounts of Indonesia ’s early transition from authoritarian to democratic rule, he appears as a reformer and military moderate (Rinakit 2005: 110). During the student riots that precipitated Suharto’s overthrow in 1998, Yudhoyono toured campuses advocating dialogue over repression. Within days of Suharto’s resignation, Yudhoyono called for revision of the military’s political role, and in subsequent years he promoted a ‘New Paradigm’ for ABRI that would see it withdraw from civilian politics (Honna 2003: 163–5). When Yudhoyono became president in 2004, he inherited a security sector that had undergone, albeit imperfectly, a series of reforms. These included the separation of the police from the military and the construction of a new legislative framework for the TNI and Polri. In the literature on security sector reform, such changes are known as first-generation reforms. It fell to Yudhoyono to take up the challenge of second-generation reform: deepening democratic oversight and accountability. Yet, Yudhoyono’s two terms in office were marked by the absence of serious structural reform of the security sector. Instead, they were characterised by a seemingly uncontroversial drive for professionalisation and modernisation in the form of greater budgetary allocations, procurement, recruitment and personnel specialisation. In this chapter, I argue that Yudhoyono’s emphasis on professsionalisation might be thought of as a third-generation reform that came prematurely for a sector still largely lacking in institutional and sectoral oversight, accountability and transparency. By leaping to third-phase professionalisation, Yudhoyono avoided more substantive second-generation reforms that should have occurred during his tenure. This was Update book...


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