Bhatara Ibnu Reza

Bhatara Ibnu Reza is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales, researching civilian involvement in state defence. Bhatara is also a senior researcher at Imparsial, the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor.

Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has been out talking up his ministry’s Bela Negara program, which apparently aims to inspire a love for the homeland and protect it from “extreme ideologies”. But is Bela Negara really about strengthening nationalism, or is it just another attempt to introduce compulsory military service? Bhatara Ibnu Reza takes a look at the program.

After the deadly terrorist attack in Jakarta on 14 January, a range of senior officials have agreed on the need to strengthen Indonesia’s counter-terrorism laws. But as Bhatara Ibnu Reza writes, the history of security sector reform in the country shows that reform should be approached with extreme caution.