Before the democratic reform took place in Indonesia on May 1998, I always have mixed feelings on the armed forces.
On the one hand, I was aware that Indonesia needs a strong armed forces to protect and defend sovereignty from any attacks by foreign or domestic enemies. And the fact shows that since our independence the armed forces has played leading role in driving away enemy attacks.
On the other hand, I am very sick and tired of the dominant roles of the military officials in almost every thing that goes on in Indonesia, in which they were used as a tool by the authoritarian regime at that time to maintain power.
10 years after the reform, the armed forces’ role in civilian life has decreased significantly, and civilians played most of the major roles in society.
However, the demilitarization process has gone too far, for example drastic cuts in budget has unable the armed forces to maintain their equipments causing frequent air crashes killing many well and expensively trained officers.
Today, 5 October, the armed forces celebrate its 64th anniversary, and I hope that the government, the parliament and every one in Indonesia would realize that we need a strong armed forces to protect and defend our country and people, therefore obviously we should treat them properly and provide them with what they need so that they can do their job properly.
LONG LIVE THE INDONESIAN ARMED FORCES!