Garuda rising
How peacekeeping is helping the Indonesian military modernize
April-July 2016
By: Callum Cashel

The TNI adopted the Tridharma Ekakarma doctrine (Sanskrit for Three Devotion, One Struggle, or Tridek) in 2007, and formally in 2010. While it had the view to incorporate certain aspects of modern warfare, such as network-centric warfare and an emphasis on intelligence management, as well as a move toward adopting a deterrence strategy, territorial warfare remains central to the doctrine. The table below outlines how the Indonesian Army would respond to an attack under Tridek.

It is not argued that the territorial command has no place in the future of the Indonesian Army. It is important to be realistic. The TNI enmeshment with the civilian population to drive out an invading force is important if the situation would demand it. However, it must be stressed that a situation that activated this strategy would require a catastrophic breakdown of regional relations in Southeast Asia.

 What should be changed?

This essay advocates working within existing doctrine to achieve a more appropriate outcome for the employment of the TNI to defend Indonesia. As such, it is agreed that territorial warfare is necessary to share the burden of providing security with an active conventional deterrence. However, at this moment there is a disproportionate emphasis on the former, and this must change. Indonesia is well-equipped to adapt to the changing nature of warfare, characterized by the three-block war and the strategic corporal concepts, which give value to a soldier’s interaction with the population outside of single-dimensional war fighting. This is a direct result of the territorial warfare doctrine and it should be maintained moving forward. However, Tridek currently makes no provision for the projection of forces into the region pursuant to Indonesian foreign policy goals.

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