Monday, September 15, 2014

1) NZ Foreign Minister urges media access for Papua

1) NZ Foreign Minister urges media access for Papua
2) Detained French journalists in West Papua could serve shorter sentences
3) Govt Urged to Evaluate Freeport after Landslide Incident

4) From ‘military reform’  to ‘defense transformation’  (Part 1 of 2)


1) NZ Foreign Minister urges media access for Papua

Updated at 12:54 pm today

New Zealand's Foreign Minister has expressed hope that Indonesia's president-elect Joko Widodo will open up Papua region to international media.
This comes as two French journalists remain detained in Jayapura following their arrests in Papua over a month ago for alleged visa violations.
Johnny Blades reports.
"During his recent campaign, Jokowi said there was no impediment to opening up Papua which is restricted for foreign journalists. New Zealand's Murray McCully says his government hopes that once in power, Jokowi will move to relax the rules related to media access and ensure that journalists have the opportunity to report on Papua. Mr McCully also voiced concern about recent Indonesian police mistreatment of two young West Papuans. Amnesty International says the pair, who had painted pro-independence signs in Manokwari, were tortured, beaten, forced to roll in a sewer filled with dirty water and to drink paint. One of them is facing an incitement charge."


2) Detained French journalists in West Papua could serve shorter sentences

Updated at 5:30 pm today

Indonesian officials have indicated two French journalists arrested in West Papua for violating their tourist visas would likely serve shorter sentences than the five years originally sought.
Thomas Dandois and Valentine Burrat remain detained in Jayapura after being arrested in early August for allegedly violating their visas and involvement with armed criminal groups.
The chairperson of the West Papua branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, Victor Mambor, says immigration officials expect the trial of the pair to start in two weeks.
He says the arrests highlight Indonesia's sensitivity around the West Papuan independence movement.
"As a journalist, we have a freedom to make contact with everyone. But Indonesian authorities, especially police, said that because they made contact with Papuan freedom fighters that they are involved with the freedom movement. They are being arrested by the police because of that."
The chairperson of the West Papua branch of the Alliance of Independent Journalists, Victor Mambor.
SUNDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER, 2014 | 14:44 WIB
3) Govt Urged to Evaluate Freeport after Landslide Incident
TEMPO.COJakarta - Energy analyst Kurtubi said the government must evaluate Freeport’s mining contracts after a landslide incident occurred in Freeport's area. The contract evaluation, Kurtubi said, should be initiated since the government has had no control or power over mining company.
“In mining contracts, the government handed over 100 percent [of the mining operation] to the mining companies,” Kurtubi told Tempo on Sunday, September 14, 2014.
Kurtubi added that the government should set regulations for mining companies to meet certain criteria before conducting their activities. Kurtubi doubted that Freeport’s environmental impact analysis had met the requirements.
A landslide incident occurred on Friday, September 12, 2014 at the West Muck Bay underground mining area, Grasberg Block Cave (GBC), PT Freeport Indonesia. The landslide buried parts of a jumbo drill vehicle operated by two employees.
Freeport’s spokesperson Daisy Primayanti said in a press release that that the materials in form of rocks and soils fell during ground support activities. One of the employees is still being evacuated.
4) From ‘military reform’  to ‘defense transformation’  (Part 1 of 2)
Evan A. Laksmana, New York | Opinion | Mon, September 15 2014, 10:25 AM
As president-elect Joko Widodo — popularly known as Jokowi — prepares his first Cabinet and plans to govern, it is perhaps a good time to take a step back and consider the broader picture of Indonesia’s military reform. After all, he did campaign on a reformist platform; he even had more detailed defense policy ideas than his rival, Lt. Gen (ret) Prabowo Subianto.

What have we accomplished thus far in reforming the military following the end of Soeharto’s authoritarian New Order? How has the process of military reform evolved and what should we expect next?

What would defense policy and military reform look like under Jokowi’s first administration? Should we expect more continuity rather than change from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono era when it comes to military reform?

After the fall of Soeharto, military reform between 1999 and 2004 under presidents B. J. Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid and Megawati Soekarnoputri essentially focused on erasing the legacies of authoritarian rule.

The Indonesian military changed its name from the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) to the Indonesian Military (TNI) when the separation from the police officially took place in 1999.

The TNI then abolished the “dual function” doctrine that had previously allowed officers to hold various political and economic posts throughout the country. Its non-elected legislative seats were eliminated by 2004, along with any official ties to any political parties.

Additionally, Law No. 34/2004 on the Indonesian Military not only banned military officers from running for office but also mandated the eventual transfer of the TNI’s recorded business and commercial enterprises by 2009.

In short, the focus has been on getting the military out of politics and business, ending its domestic security and policing roles, and returning its function as the primary actor for national defense. By one account, the TNI issued 29 institutional reform policies to follow these broad visions from 1998 to 2006.

Believing that the New Order’s legacies had been erased, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004 – 2014) went on to focus on rebuilding the TNI’s overall combat effectiveness and readiness. Indeed, then-defense minister Juwono Sudarsono claimed in 2008 that military reform was 85 percent complete.

As Indonesia’s economic strength grew during Yudhoyono’s presidency, soldiers’ welfare was gradually increased in terms of salaries and benefits; education and training began to gain importance (as seen from the establishment of the Indonesian Defense University), and technological modernization took center stage.

Indeed, with the Minimum Essential Forces (MEF) as the main guiding vision, the defense budget more than tripled, from approximately US$2.1 billion in 2003 to about $7.7 billion in 2012. It is further estimated that completing the MEF shopping list requires around $7 to $10 billion.

Arguably, MEF is the centerpiece of Yudhoyono’s defense modernization vision, which represents the next step in Indonesia’s post-authoritarian military reform. The passing of the 2012 defense industrial law further cemented this vision.

What should we expect therefore from the president-elect? According to Jokowi’s campaign platform documents, he has four main defense priorities.

First, continue supporting the professionalism of the Indonesian military by improving soldiers’ welfare and its main weapons systems by increasing the defense budget to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) within five years.

Second, seek defense independence by reducing foreign technological imports, strengthening the domestic defense industry and diversifying Indonesia’s defense partnerships.

Third, complete the MEF blueprint and build the military to eventually become a respectable maritime force in East Asia.

Finally, place defense policy as an integral part of a comprehensive and resilient national security system that reorders various defense, internal security, public safety and human security functions managed by the National Security Council (DKN).

Assuming Jokowi takes his campaign promises seriously, these priorities suggest that he would build on and continue many of Yudhoyono’s defense modernization policies. This vision, however, should be taken with an extra pinch of salt.

First and foremost, with more money being spent on technology, personnel development is taking a back seat — despite the fact that a military is only as effective as the men and women running it.

According to IHS Jane’s projections, spending on personnel between 2010 and 2017 will, on average, be around $4.79 billion annually. While these figures represent around two thirds of the defense budget, they seem minuscule when we think about the level of expertise needed to boost technological innovation and to effectively run and maintain high-tech military systems.

This is particularly the case when we consider Indonesia’s mediocre human capital development. In 2013, we were ranked 61 globally by the World Economic Forum’s education measures. Presumably, the low quality of our human capital spills into the TNI’s manpower quality as well.

Additionally, a review of the TNI’s educational curricula — from the academy to the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas) — suggests that while sociopolitical courses are fewer now than under the New Order, they continue to make up a significant proportion of available classes.

And even though overseas education and training opportunities have expanded, messy personnel policies have created promotional logjams, with the number of posts shrinking while the officer corps grew from 46,168 in 2004 to 52,940 in 2009.

Consequently, tours of duty have become increasingly shorter and higher educational qualifications are becoming less relevant, if not detrimental, for officers competing for a small number of billets. All of these are counterproductive to the long-term development of a professional modern military career pattern.

Secondly, the Yudhoyono-led process of technological modernization for the past decade has had some harmful, unintended consequences for the TNI’s weapons platform readiness and maintenance.

As defense planners have been more concerned initially with procuring weaponry from suppliers who would not impose political conditions of usage, the military has been incrementally stocking up platforms from various different countries.

As of 2006, the TNI had been operating 173 different medium and advanced platforms imported from 17 different countries. While “partner diversification” sounds politically convenient, complex weapons systems do not work that way. Indeed, such a “rainbow mix” entails significant costs in terms of maintenance and personnel training and has affected operational readiness due to inter-operability problems.
The writer is a researcher with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta and a non-resident fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

No comments:

Post a Comment