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Jakarta Post

Questioning the military’s role in counterterrorism

  • Anton Aliabbas

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PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Tue, May 26, 2020   /  06:12 am
Questioning the military’s role in counterterrorism Force to be reckoned with: Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers take part in a joint police-military operation codenamed Tinombala to hunt down a terrorist group under Santoso, alias Abu Wardah, in Poso, Central Sulawesi, in 2016. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has proposed a regulation that will give the military more powers in the counterterrorism field. (JP/Ruslan Sangadji)

The government recently submitted a draft of a presidential regulation (Perpres) on the involvement of military forces in the country’s fight against terrorism to the House of Representatives. The proposal shows the government’s intention to continue the militarization of counterterrorism in the country.

Controversy about the role of the Indonesian military (TNI) in counterterrorism has been ongoing since mid-2019. When the older draft of the current Perpres (dated April 18, 2019) circulated, it received strong criticism as it potentially endangered democracy and human rights in Indonesia. In addition, the older draft violated Law No. 5/2018 on antiterrorism and Law No. 34/2004 on the TNI.

The new draft is still not free of problems. Some of its content may undercut the country’s fight against terrorism. First, it grants “deterrence&r...

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