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For the Indonesian military, the independence of East Timor in 1999 represented the end of twenty-three years of seemingly futile efforts to integrate the province into the Republic of Indonesia.
What is the military’s collective memory of its experience in East Timor? Does the military, long seen as the custodian of national sovereignty and a bulwark against communism, see that campaign as a defeat? What impact has this had on its sense of identity?
This research contributes to a deeper understanding of the military’s place in Indonesian political culture, and to scholarship on how militaries rationalise ‘difficult histories’ of defeat and failure.