The Restructuring and Reorganization of the Military Must Be Right on Target and Must Not Be Contrary to their Reform Agenda

Press Release

No: 002/Press-Release/IMP/II/2019

The TNI's plan to restructure and reorganize the TNI is carried out with several policies. This includes the deployment of the military to civilian positions, the addition of new units and structures in the TNI, increasing the status of positions and ranks in several units and extending the retirement age for non-commissioned officers and enlisted men. One of the reasons for placing TNI officers in civilian positions is the effort to distribute high-ranking officers without positions or non-jobs. This restructuring and reorganization also cannot be separated from Presidential Regulation no. 62 of 2016 concerning the organizational structure of the TNI.

Military restructuring and reorganization is possible in any country. The organizational arrangement is based on consideration of the dynamics of the strategic environment in order to increase the effectiveness of the organization in dealing with threats while remaining based on its function as a defense tool and considering the economic aspect (budget).

Imparsial assesses that the policy to strengthen units and units that have a combat function for war such as Army Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad) is indeed very possible. This will also have implications for the existence of new positions and new ranks. However, plans to increase the status of positions and new ranks in several other units need to be reviewed.

Increasing the status of positions and one-star ranks in several territorial areas, namely several Military Resort Commands (Korem), seems to be inappropriate. This is not in line with the spirit of reform as stated in the Military Law no. 34/2004 which indicates the need to restructure the territorial command. Precisely in the context of the restructuring and reorganization of the TNI, the government should encourage the Koter restructuring agenda which is the mandate of reform and the law itself where the title of TNI strength must be avoided. organizational forms that can become opportunities for practical political interests and their deployment does not always follow the government's administrative structure (Explanatory). Article 11 paragraph 2 of the Law).

Imparsial assessed that the plan to place active military in civilian positions through the revision of the Military Law was inappropriate. The placement of an active military in civilian positions can restore the TNI's work function, which was previously based on the ABRI dual function doctrine (socio-political function), which had been abolished since the reformation. This is certainly not in line with the TNI's reform agenda and can disrupt the democratic governance system.

TNI reform requires the military to no longer engage in politics and one of the reflections is that the active military no longer holds political positions such as in the DPR, governors, regents, ministerial positions and others. Since the TNI Law was passed, the active military has only occupied positions that are related to the defense function, such as the ministry of defense, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, the Presidential Secretariat, state intelligence, state code, Lemhanas, national defense council, and others (Article 47 paragraph 2 of the TNI Law). In that context, the expansion plan so that the active military can occupy positions in other ministries really needs to be reviewed and reconsidered, lest it is not in line with the TNI reform agenda and restores abolished work functions.

Regarding the extension of the retirement period for the NCO and the Tamtama, it seems that it needs to be studied in more depth before a decision is made. Do not let this additional retirement period create a budget burden in the defense sector and increase the surplus in the number of soldiers in the TNI itself, and it is also necessary to consider its effectiveness. Currently, almost 40-50 percent of the defense budget is spent on personnel salaries. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Indonesia desperately needs to improve the welfare of its soldiers and strengthen the defense equipment system in the midst of a limited budget.

Imparsial assessed that the organization and personnel arrangement of the TNI that was important to think about was related to the arrangement of promotions and positions based on competence (merit system). In addition, it is necessary to continue the zero growth program in overcoming the gap between recruitment and the structure and positions of the TNI. The recruitment of TNI personnel needs to be adjusted to the number of retired personnel.

Imparsial views that the restructuring and reorganization of the TNI needs to be studied in depth so that it is right on target and produces sustainable policy formulations for strengthening the TNI organization in facing threats according to its function as a means of national defense. More importantly, the policy plan should not conflict with the TNI's reform agenda.

Jakarta, February 6th, 2019

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