Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Indonesia, the TNI (Indonesian Armed Forces) has been deployed as a quick reaction force to combat the pandemic. Under Law No. 34/2004 on the TNI, the military can be deployed to support military operations other than war (MOOTW). Tackling the pandemic can be viewed as part of the TNI’s role to support civil authorities when faced with a domestic crisis. However, the growing expansion of TNI involvement in non-combat affairs including COVID-19, could distract the TNI from its primary role in securing national sovereignty and preparations for external defence. Although TNI officers do not dominate the decision-making process in both national and regional COVID-19 taskforces, many analysts and activists have warned about Indonesia’s perceived movement down a slippery slope of militarisation. This webinar aims to assess the impact of COVID-19 on TNI military effectiveness and the nature of civil-military relations in Indonesia. Furthermore, the seminar seeks to understand how a military, and in this case specifically the TNI, can help win the fight against pandemics. More importantly, how does the current environment shape its MOOTW capability development? Could the Indonesian government’s excessive dependence on the TNI hamper the ability of civilian institutions to handle similar challenges in the future?
Last updated on 06/01/2021