Posts made in February, 2015

The First Army Seminar and Tri Ubaya Cakti

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Relations between General Abdul Haris Nasution and Army Commander Ahmad Yani were strained for various reasons, notably because Yani had replaced regional commanders who were close to the former Army Chief. Apparently acting with President Sukarno’s encouragement, in early-January 1965 Yani ordered his Administration Deputy Major General Suprapto to arrest Nasution. The incident led to near clash between Yani and Nasution supporters, and antagonized relations between the two generals. Suprapto informed Army Staff and Command School (Seskoad) instructor Colonel Abdul Kadir Prawiraatmadja, Nasution’s associate, about Yani’s plans to arrest the general. After discovering Nasution’s men were armed and ready for a fight, Yani prudently dropped the plan. Kostrad Commander Major General Soeharto and other neutral officers tried to persuade Nasution to soften his criticism toward Sukarno and settle differences with Yani in the interest of a unified army focus against Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) aggression. Soeharto was third in line behind Nasution and Yani in terms of rank and seniority. He may have had foreknowledge about Yani’s plan to arrest his senior and ended up playing peacemaker between the two officers. The initiative failed. Neither Yani nor Nasution attended the January 13 reconciliation meeting. Curiously, the unsuccessful peace initiative may have started rumors about a “Council of Generals” plotting to overthrow Sukarno and to eliminate the PKI. The baby was born nine months later, as officers calling themselves the “September 30th Movement” targeted Yani, Nasution and other officers involved in the January truce talks. The dispute with Nasution prompted Army Commander Yani to endorse the proposal for an army seminar at Seskoad to review the national situation and the Army’s social-political role. Beginning in 1960, the Army had held annual seminars at the staff school, but those were minor affairs until the April 1965 seminar, which was designated “The First Army Seminar.” By the time the First Army Seminar opened on April 3, the Army was a major political force in the triangular balance of power with President Sukarno and the PKI. The seminar legitimized Nasution’s Middle Way doctrine, repackaged as Dual Function (Dwifungsi), through the Army’s affirmation as a military and a social-political force, and as a functional group warranting representation in the country’s ideological, political, economic and religious affairs. It introduced Kekaryaan (functionalism or cadre-ization) doctrine to validate the well-established practice of assigning military personnel to government positions outside the military. Sukarno sat through much of the seminar and most officers present bent over backward to demonstrate their loyalty. Sukarnoist officers led by East Indonesia Inter-Regional Commander Brigadier General U. Rukman prevented the Army-PKI rivalry from being discussed, despite attempts by anti-communist officers like Seskoad Deputy Colonel Suwarto, Army Intelligence Assistant Major General Siswondo Parman and Administration Deputy Major General Suprapto to table the issue. (Rukman, who had served as a battalion commander in Siliwangi Division during the Revolution, was arrested in January 1966 and drummed out of the Army based on his alleged involvement with the September 30th Movement, responsible for murdering army leaders on October 1, 1965.) A significant theme, the subject of one of the seminar’s four white papers, was the “danger from the...

Read More