Indonesia: June 10, 2001


Indonesia has reorganized its Marine Corps. The 1st Brigade at Surabaya has been redesignated the 1st Group (Paskar-1) with 6,500 troops, while the 2nd Brigade at Jakarta has been designated the Independent Brigade with 3,500. Each is to be commanded by a colonel, as they are now. President Wahid had announced earlier plans to greatly expand the Marine Corps into as many as five brigades (which would be commanded by generals and called divisions), but the Army would not stand for it. Perhaps reflecting this same rivalry, the Independent Brigade has been assigned "a mission to ensure security for the capital" which is independent of the Army 1st Brigade, which has had the capital security mission for decades. This harkens back to the old Soviet days when the Army, Security Ministry, Paratroops, and Border Guards all had divisions based around Moscow (mostly keeping an eye on each other as a way to prevent a coup). Analysts suspect that Wahid is setting up a divided military command for his capital as a means of keeping either force from trying something "extra-constitutional".--Stephen V Cole


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