The defense is based on selective military duty with an
initial service of up to 24 months. Indonesia has been a
member of ASEAN since 1967. In 1995, a defense agreement was
signed with Australia. The defense (2008) comprises about
300,000 men with 400,000 men in reserve and is organized
into an army of 233,000 men comprising about 75 battalions
and 1 strategic operational force of 2 airborne brigades and
4 infantry brigades.
The Navy comprises 45,000 men with 2 submarines, 29
frigates/corvettes, 41 patrol boats, 26 landing craft, 1
naval aircraft with, among other things. 9 submarine
helicopters and 1 navy corps of 20,000 men. The Air Force
comprises 24,000 men with about 94 fighter aircraft and
extensive transport aircraft. The material is modern in
western and partly Soviet and indigenous origin.
Semi-military security forces have been reduced from 1.7
million men to 280,000 men. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that INA stands for Indonesia.
Defense costs in 1985-2006 decreased from 2.8% to 1.0% of
GDP. Indonesia participates in a number of UN peacekeeping
efforts, including in Congo (Kinshasa) (MONUC) and Lebanon
(UNIFIL II). The armed opposition consists of six different
groups of about 1,000 men. The armed struggle for the
province of Aceh ceased in 2005 and is monitored by
observers from Europe and neighboring countries (AMM).
In August 2003, a bomb exploded at a hotel in Jakarta,
killing 15. Jemaah Islamiya (JI) was believed to be behind
the attack. In September, two members of the organization
were sentenced to death for the Bali attack two years
earlier. Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was sentenced to 5 years in
prison on other charges. It was not possible to prove his
connection to the Bali bombings, prompting several
governments to question Indonesia's efforts in the fight
against terrorism. JI was created in 1970 when President
Suharto needed the support of extreme Islamists in his fight
against the "communist danger".
In October 2003, the IMF granted a new loan to Indonesia
after appreciating the country's economy. Only a few months
earlier, the government had announced that it was
disconnecting from the lending institution because the
government and the population opposed the demands of opening
up the economy IMF.
In December, Human Rights Watch released a report
accusing Indonesia of civilian, out-of-court executions,
arrests and violent attacks in the government's fight
against GAM in Aceh. At the same time, the government's
"curtain of silence" was criticized over the fighting caused
by journalists' forms of entry into the war zone. A week
later, three soldiers were sentenced to 20 months in prison
for killing peasants during the attack on a village.
At the October 2004 presidential election, Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono became the victor with 60% of the vote, while his
main opponent, the incumbent President Megawati Sukarnoputri
had to settle for 40%. Yudhoyono, a former security
minister, had presented an ambitious program to eradicate
nepotism, terrorism and corruption. The new president also
promised to promote economic growth. 16% of Indonesians live
below the poverty line.
In December, a violent tsunami hit Southeast Asia. It
originated from a severe submarine earthquake 100km off the
coast of Sumatra, and it was also Sumatra that was most
severely affected. 220,000 were killed and 130,000
disappeared. Especially the Aceh province was hit, and the
provincial capital Banda Aceh was roughly leveled to the
ground by the violent flood. Villages in a wide belt along
the coast were also washed away by the tidal wave. The rebel
movement subsequently declared a ceasefire not to complicate
relief efforts, but the Indonesian army used the disaster as
a hideout to escalate its attacks on the rebels in the
In March 2005, Ba'asyir was found guilty of conspiracy
with the Bali attacks in 2002. The court sentenced the imam
to 2½ years in prison.
An earthquake off Sumatra cost more than 1,000 people.
Most on the island of Nias.
In August, the government and Aceh's liberation movement
signed a peace deal, and by the end of the month, the
government released about 1,500 prisoners linked to the
Both Sumatera Utara governor, Rizal Nurdin and his
predecessor Raja Inal Siregar died in a plane crash in