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Jakarta Post

Paddling between challenges: Opportunities for new TNI chief

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Fri, January 19, 2018   /  02:03 pm
Paddling between challenges: Opportunities for new TNI chief 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 2017. (Antara/Galih Pradipta)

The selection of Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, the former air force chief, as the 20th military commander has sparked little public controversy. The low-profile general had long been predicted to reach the position because of his longstanding relationship with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. Jokowi had forged close ties with Hadi since the latter served as airbase commander in Surakarta, Central Java, where Jokowi was mayor in 2011. In 2014, Hadi received a strategic position within Jokowi’s circle as his military secretary. Some analysts argue it is normal, and even a form of political capital, for the President to have an officer he can trust to control the military, particularly prior to the regional elections this year and the 2019 presidential election. In addition, political aspirations, as shown by some higher ranking officers such as former commande...

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