Joe’s Notes

Comments by the book’s author


Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Joe's Notes | 5 comments


The Indonesian Army from Revolusi to Reformasi – A Comprehensive Three-Volume History I am a retired army officer, not a professional author or scholar. I was the U.S. Defense and Army Attaché to Indonesia for the final four and one-half years of my thirty-year military career, from November 1998 to June 2003.  While in Jakarta, I travelled extensively throughout the archipelago, met, interviewed and socialized with government, military and police officials from the highest levels in the capital to the lowest and most remote in the provinces. I started working on this history in late-2004. As I set out to tell the story of the Indonesian Army, the work evolved into a comprehensive history – three thick volumes which I have self-published through the Amazon CreateSpace website. The books are available in soft cover or ebook from Amazon, Kindle and online booksellers. This work represents my contribution to the body of literature about the Indonesian Army. I have sought to illuminate key personalities and events, to describe military operations and, more importantly, the deep involvement in politics. From the Indonesian Republic’s onset, there has been some form of military participation in political life – the more significant and interesting aspect of the Indonesian Army’s distinctive history. Written in a journalistic style, these three volumes provide readers insights into Indonesian culture and help them understand why Indonesian soldiers have behaved the way they do – often in ways, from a western perspective, that must be considered less-than-honorable. It is really as much a history of Indonesia as it is a history of the Army. Each book contains new information, especially Volume 3 (The Reformasi Era) where I have drawn from personal experience. The chapters are extensively footnoted and include a generous number of photographs, tables and maps. I do not offer policy prescriptions although the American policy dilemma toward Indonesia is a recurring theme. I am convinced we must be engaged to influence behavior. One of the painful lessons we have learned in Iraq and Afghanistan is that cultural change is a difficult and long-term process. The same is certainly true for Indonesia. I will post blog comments from time to time, mostly extracts from the three volumes. I hope this will stimulate discussion. Please feel free to post any comments, clarifications and corrections on this website or contact me directly at jhd@the If you wish to be notified of new blog posts, please submit your email address on the blog page. For those who read the books, any comments on Amazon books would be appreciated. Thanks to you, Joe...

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