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Jakarta Post

TNI involvement in COVID-19 management: Lessons learned

Special hospital: Modular units stand in one of three zones of the Galang Island COVID-19 Specialty Hospital in Riau Islands province on April 6, 2020. The hospital was built on the 16-hectare site of a former refugee camp.(Courtesy of/Public Works and Public Housing Ministry)
Adhi Priamarizki and Sigit S. Nugroho
PREMIUM
Singapore   ●   Mon, April 12 2021

Since his appointment, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto has been actively engaging world leaders to obtain arms deals for the purchase of new weapons, including pursuing technology transfer agreements. These activities reflect Prabowo's goal of advancing the defense modernization of the Indonesian Military (TNI).

The COVID-19 pandemic, however, interfered with progressing toward this goal. The TNI has come to play an important role in maintaining COVID-19 governance in Indonesia. Indeed, its involvement sparked some concerns about the possible expansion of the military beyond defense matters, with many activists and academics expressing concern. Nonetheless, it would be unwise to neglect the fact that the military made a positive contribution to suppressing the outbreak.

The precarious situation of the pandemic certainly has impacted the arms procurement plan,...

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