2016 年 2016 巻 185 号 p. 185_82-185_97
Regarding viewpoints on threat perception and civil-military relations, theoretical analyses have generally concluded that under a high internal threat, civil-military relations are unstable and that a high external threat and low internal threat brings about stable civil-military relations. However, Indonesia’s experiences do not support these analyses. During the war of independence era, under the high external security environment, Indonesia’s civil-military relations were unstable because of the disagreements between the government and military concerning negotiations and the guerrilla warfare against the Netherlands. During the Suharto regime, high internal threats caused stable civil-military relations because the threat perception of the military coincided with that of the government.
This paper hypothesizes that it is not external threats and internal threats that influence the stability of civil-military relations but whether or not the government and military share the same point-of-view on threat perception. I will prove this hypothesis by analyzing the threat perception of the government and military in Indonesia during the democratization era.
After the decline of the Suharto regime, the military officers resigned from political and administrative posts and abolished business activities during the democratization process. The government and military met with domestic threats (e.g., separatist movements, terrorism, and communal violence). While the government tried to solve separatist movements peacefully, the military urged the government to suppress them forcefully. As a result, the difference in the threat perception between the government and military deteriorated the civil-military relations.
However, domestic threats almost ended by 2005, and Indonesia began to deal with external threats. One of them was a territorial dispute with Malaysia. In 2002, Indonesia lost two small islands near the border of Malaysia based on the decision of a judge from the International Court of Justice. After the court decision, Malaysia attempted to expand its claim over the oil-rich sea area, which included the Ambalat block near the islands. The Indonesian government as well as many Indonesian citizens resented the expansion and began to view Malaysia’s territorial claim as an external threat. The military also shifted their threat perception focus from domestic conflicts to the defense and management of the border areas. Another external threat that Indonesia has had to deal with is the territorial conflict over the South China Sea. Since 2008, Chinese fishing boats have often entered the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Indonesia around the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea; in 2010, Chinese military ships threatened Indonesian patrol ships that had captured Chinese fishing boats and ordered the Indonesian patrol ships to release the fishing boats.
In the latter half of the 2000s, the government and military came to share viewpoints on and perceptions of the external threat to Indonesia’s territorial integrity concerning the territorial dispute with Malaysia and the South China Sea conflict. This contributed to an increase in the military budget and stabilized the civil-military relations in Indonesia.