About the Lecture
This article seeks to investigate the role of the Indonesian army’s strategic cultures in influencing the impact of the spread of military power in Indonesia, especially in the motivations behind decisions to undergo partial adoption of military innovation. This article posits multiple strategic cultures that have prevailed in Indonesia, stemming from the military’s historical experience waging guerrilla warfare. First, the army continues to advocate the concept of the ‘people’s army’ mentality. Second, the army sees its territorial structure set-up as the best practical measure to oversee and manage Indonesia’s vast territory. Finally the army believes that by cultivating close links with civilians it will gain tactical advantages in terms of acquiring human intelligence and providing local auxiliaries to be mobilized. By using the process tracing method, the article found that the aforementioned strategic cultures have influenced various decisions with regards to internal adaption of military innovation, especially budget prioritization and acceptable organizational changes associated with the innovation.
About the Speaker
Emirza Adi Syailendra is a Research Analyst at the Indonesia Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He obtained his Master Degree in Strategic Studies from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU in 2014. He was studying fulltime under the Research Analyst Award from RSIS, while working as a programme associate for two years (2012-2014). His research interests include: Indonesia defence policy, foreign policy, and politics; contemporary issues surrounding ASEAN; and strategic issues on Asia Pacific. He has written a dissertation on Indonesia titled “The Analysis on Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Foreign Policy (2004-2014)”.
He is currently working on various projects related to Indonesia’s strategic culture with the aim of examining the impact of the memory of the early formation of Indonesia as a state with regards to force and diplomacy in the post-Suharto era. The research project is interested in exploring the sources and future of strategic culture on operational conduct pertaining to various case studies of the Indonesian Army (TNI AD), the Indonesian Navy (TNI AL), the approach of the Indonesian national security and the Indonesian Armed Forces on the global stage. This research is also interested in tracing the impact of strategic culture on Indonesia’s foreign policy that is in line with its defence and security among various countries within ASEAN and the regional powers in the Asia Pacific. Emirza’s latest field work was in Aceh and Papua. He is currently working on two pieces that are related to Indonesia’s counterinsurgency efforts in Papua as a case study and civil military relations in Aceh as another case study.