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Internal or external focus?

This chapter has attempted to describe the structure of Indonesia’s military as it applies to the state, highlighting the overwhelming focus of the military on matters that are internal to the Indonesian state. The structure of the military in this sense is twofold: First, the TNI’s Territorial structure physically locates it throughout the archipelago and was originally based on the idea that, in such a physically dispersed and fragmented state, the first line of defence would have to be with the people. This model was derived from Indonesia’s revolutionary experience, in which its guerrilla army was (at least in principle) distributed among the people (whereas in fact it was heavily concentrated in the western islands, in particular Java). Second, and in more relevant, contemporary terms, the dispersal of the TNI throughout the archipelago has deeply insinuated it into the state’s political and administrative processes down to the level of the local district, and down to the level of the village. The rationale behind this has been the TNI’s ‘dual function’, whereby it assists with development projects as well as ‘defence’ needs, although the former also includes giving a high level of ‘guidance’ in day-today political and administrative affairs, while the latter has manifested itself as the provision of internal ‘security’.