The Indonesian military has progressed significantly towards a professional military organisation following the reform initiatives it undertook after the collapse of Suharto’s New Order. The Indonesian military is no longer involved directly in politics, it was barred from engaging in formal business activities, and its socio-political functions have been liquidated. Aside from institutional reform, the Indonesian military has also undertaken modernisation efforts under the Minimum Essential Force (MEF) programme to revitalise and bolster its defence capabilities. Thus far, steady economic growth and a stable political situation have contributed positively to the modernization plan. The current incumbent, President Joko Widodo, has expressed support for continuing this modernization trend, with the particular interest in building up the maritime sector. What are the key objectives of military reform under President Widodo’s administration? What are the key challenges that hinder the progress of military professionalism in Indonesia? How are the military reforms aligned to Indonesia’s strategies in dealing with emerging challenges in its immediate strategic environment?
We are privileged to have Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Agus Widjojo, Governor of National Resilience Institute (Lemhanas), to share his thoughts on the progress of professionalism and propensity for reform in the Indonesian Military.
About the Speaker
Agus Widjojo is born in Solo, 8 June 1947 and graduated from the Indonesian Armed Forces Academy in 1970. He holds a Master Degree in Military Art and Science and in National Security Strategy as a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College, Leavenworth WA and the US National Defense University, as well as a Masters of Public Administration from the George Washington University.
Bapak Agus Widjojo retired in 2003 from his last post as Chief of Staff for Territorial Affairs to the Commander of the Armed Forces followed by his final military assignment as leader of the TNI/Police faction in the National Parliament (DPR) and Deputy Speaker of the People’s Representative Assembly (MPR). Throughout his military career, Widjojo has held a range of staff and command appointments in Indonesia including Command of an airborne infantry battalion and brigade and Command of the TNI Command and Staff College (SESKO TNI). Agus Widjojo served as a Staff Officer in the International Commission for Control and Supervision in Vietnam 1973 and with the Indonesian Battalion with UNEF II in Sinai in 1975. He also served as an Assistant for General Plans and Strategic Policies of TNI Command in 1998.
After his retirement, he maintains a close connection with political, defence and security institutes and has been commissioned to represent the government in various assignments. He serves as the Vice Chairperson of the Executive Board of The Partnership for Governance Reform, a Senior Fellow at CSIS Jakarta, a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Peace and Democracy, Udayana University and was deputy of the Presidential Policy implementation Unit and the Indonesian representative on the Indonesia-Timor Leste Commission of Truth and Friendship. Bapak Agus Widjojo assumed roles as the Deputy of the Presidential Work Unit for the Organization of Reform Program (UKP3R) under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono from 2006-2009. He serves as Independent Commissioner at PT Amstelco Indonesia Tbk. He served as a Non-Executive Director of Cokal Limited from August 14, 2013, to May 10, 2016.