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Jakarta Post

Insight: Can Hadi Tjahjanto juggle competing forces?

  • Evan A. Laksmana
    Evan A. Laksmana

    Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

PREMIUM
Seattle   /   Thu, December 14, 2017   /  08:16 am
Insight: Can Hadi Tjahjanto juggle competing forces? New leader: Newly inaugurated Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto (left) strikes a pose with his predecessor, Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo (right), after their handover ceremony at TNI headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Nov.9. (Antara/Galih Pradipta)

Last weekend, Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto became the new Indonesian military (TNI) commander. He was nominated by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Dec. 4 and was sworn in four days later. Whatever expectations we might have, we need to bear in mind that Hadi would need to juggle several competing forces and structural barriers. From within the TNI, whatever policy agenda he might have, he needs to first appoint trusted officers to fill the senior ranks of the military leadership, perhaps away from his predecessor’s appointees. This is not a straightforward process, however. For one thing, despite his relatively positive track record, some within the Air Force were “surprised” at Hadi’s rise. This is partly because of a peculiar Air Force culture that favors fighter jet pilots (Hadi flew light aircraft) and partly because his flag-rank posti...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.