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Go Back       IAR Journal of Humanities and Social Science | IAR J Huma Soc Sci; 2021; 2(5): | Volume:2 Issue:5 ( Sept. 10, 2021 ) : 7-14
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DOI : 10.47310/iarjhss.2021.v02i05.002       Download PDF       HTML       XML

Irregular Warfare and Challenges of Indonesian National Security: An Overview of Threats from Insurgencies and Terrorists Groups

Article History

Received: 10.08.2021 Revision: 20.08.2021 Accepted: 31.08.2021 Published: 10.09.2021

Author Details

Penny Radjendra*, Pudjo Widodo, and Resmanto Widodo Putro

Authors Affiliations

1Indonesia Defense University

Abstract: Irregular warfare or non-conventional warfare is not a new type of war phenomenon. This type of war has occurred and been practiced since three centuries ago. However, at this time, irregular warfare has been increasingly attracting attention of observers and practitioners of military, defense and security because it is rife in various parts of the world. This paper discusses two types of irregular warfare, namely armed rebellion and terrorism which are suspected to be challenges and threats to Indonesia's national defense in the present and future. The author uses a qualitative method with a positivist epistemological approach based on the definition of irregular warfare from the US Department of Defense which includes armed rebellion, terrorism, and crime networks. However, due to technical considerations, the discussion is limited to the first two types of irregular warfare, especially regarding the roots, impacts, and options of approaches as the potential solution.

Keywords: irregular warfare; insurgency; terrorism; defense.


Irregular warfare or non-conventional warfare is not a new phenomenon. This type of war has occurred and been practiced since centuries ago. War during French revolution, Franco-Prussian War, dan the British’s Boer War is examples of the conducts of irregular warfare. In the three wars those parties involved applied asymmetric tactics which is at present days labelled as irregular warfare (Vacca & Davidson, 2011).

At present irregular warfare has been increasingly attracting attention of institutions, observers and practitioners in the fields of military, defense and security. Such a great attention has been due to the emergence of irregular warfare in many parts of the world. The United States Department of Defense (US DoD) is one of the institutions paying great attention to the issue of irregular war, especially after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001. One form of this attention is by enacting documents related to irregular war on September 11, 2001. in 2007 namely Irregular Warfare (IW) Joint Operating Concept (JOC) (J. O. C. JOC, 2007). A new document as the revised version of it was soon published in 2010 entitled Irregular Warfare: Countering Irregular Threats (I. JOC, 2010).

Nowadays the boundaries between conventional war and non-conventional war are becoming increasingly blurred and less relevant. Military power is no longer a determinant of victory in war because the parties involved in the war began to use other means to defeat the enemy other than military force. Therefore, the use of military force to defeat the opposing military is not a guarantee for obtaining victory in a war. The United States military victory over the Iraqi military during the reign of Sadam Hussein is one example of this phenomenon. Even though the US military power was able to defeat the Iraqi army and occupy the country's territory, it does not mean that the US has been able to completely control Iraq. The US military power cannot be calm and safe because there are other forces that hinder and threaten their existence in the country. They are insurgencies groups (Joint Irregular Warfare and US Joint Forces Command Center, 2011, p. iii).

Thousands of the US troops have been killed in Iraq in irregular warfare against insurgencies since Uncle Sam's country occupied Iraq in 2003. The death tolls from Iraqi civilians and police are much higher reaching hundreds of thousands (Bilmes & Stiglitz, 2008, p. ix; Crawford, 2013). Such a situation might become one of the main reasons for the making of the Joint Operation Concept of Irregular Warfare in 2007 as mentioned above. The US DoD seems to have been deeply concerned by the large number of casualties on their side as well as the seemingly unending war that have drawn much of their resources. Therefore, a particular strategy as written in the document is required as a guidance to wage the new breed of warfare.

Despite the term has been used frequently by institutions, observers and practitioners in the fields of military, defense and security, there are a number of different definitions. Therefore, it is necessary to review some of the definitions and clarify the one used as a reference for further discussion in the following sections. According to the US DoD irregular warfare is non-conventional warfare involving military power as well as other power to weaken enemy’s ‘power, influence and will’. The strategic document names three kinds of irregular warfare, namely warfare against insurgencies, terrorist networks, and criminal networks (Joint Irregular Warfare and US Joint Forces Command Center, 2011, pp. 3–4).

A number of academics offer different definitions. For example, Larson et al. (2009, p. 9) define irregular warfare as ‘a lesser form of conflict below the threshold of warfare’. They specifically refer to the war operation related to insurgency, counter insurgency, terrorism, and counter terrorism. Dowse and Bachman (2019) state that irregular warfare is the application of non-conventional methods of warfare with the goal ‘to disrupt and disable an opponent’s actions without engaging in open hostilities’. It suggest that this type of war is not an open war in which the involving parties openly declare a war. Gray disagrees with the term irregular warfare, arguing that the nature of war is similar and irregular warfare is just ‘a matter of detail’ of war. However, he then provides a concise but narrow definition of irregular warfare by referring it to counter insurgencies (COIN) (2007, pp. 37–40). Kiras (2007, p. 187) defines irregular warfare as a different form of warfare conducted by non-state actors including terrorists and insurgencies.

Apart from the differences, this paper use the definition from the US DoD stating irregular warfare as the conducts of warfare against insurgencies, terrorists networks, and criminal networks. However, the discussion only focuses on those pertaining to warfare against insurgencies and terrorists networks. Such a limitation is based on the consideration that both constitute prominent threats to Indonesian national defense and security at present and beyond. It analyses irregular warfare pertaining to insurgencies and terrorists groups in Indonesian settings, particularly regarding the roots, impacts, and options of strategy as the potential solution.


In discussing the topic, the author uses a qualitative method with a positivist epistemology approach based on the definition of irregular warfare from the US Department of Defense namely those related to insurgencies, terrorists groups, and criminal networks (Joint Irregular Warfare and US Joint Forces Command Center, 2011, pp. 3–4). However, due to the prominent of the first two warfare in Indonesian setting, the discussion is limited to the first two types of irregular warfare.

Positivist epistemology is a research approach that sees observable evidence as the only form of scientific finding that can be defended. Positivist epistemology, therefore, assumes that only facts derived from the scientific method can make valid knowledge claims (Jansen et al., 2008). Based on this approach, this study examines various literatures as the main source of reliable data and facts that are relevant to the research topic. The literature used includes official reports from government and private institutions, both at home and abroad. Research journals related to defense and security, both domestic and international, are also references and other relevant sources that meet the criteria as references in scientific research. The discussion begins with a literature review related to the trend of irregular warfare in the world and its impact on the defense of the country concerned. Next, the researcher discusses the threat of irregular warfare in Indonesia, namely insurgency and terrorism. The next section discusses the Government’s approaches to address the problem of insurgency and terrorism in Indonesia. As closing, the author proposes policy suggestions to solve the problem of insurgency and terrorism in Indonesia.

Irregular Warfare across the Globe

As afore mentioned, irregular warfare is not new and rare. In the past, it took forms of war between tribes and low intensity conflicts within states or communities. It also has occurred more frequently that most people thought. More than eighty irregular warfare has happened post World War II across the globe (Hrnčiar, 2017). The most prominent irregular warfare at present are those waged by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq the US military have been engaging in irregular warfare since the defeat of Saddam Hussein in 2003. When invading Iraq in 2003, the US military with its alliances waged a war, a regular one, against Iraq military. However, when they were able to topple the ruling regime the war was not necessarily finished. In fact, they have just commenced a new war, the irregular one against insurgents in the country (Kilcullen, 2006). Later, the US military also have to involve in irregular warfare against terrorist groups including Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq, Syria and a number of countries in the Middle East and in North Africa (MENA) regions (Beccaro, 2018).

The US military has also faced irregular warfare in Afghanistan, against the terrorist groups Taliban and Al Qaeda for twenty years. The US involvement in the war against terrorist groups in Afghanistan was triggered by the Al Qaeda terrorist group's attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. One month later, the United States began War on Terror campaign in Afghanistan with the aim of overthrowing the Taliban accused of protecting al-Qaeda as well as for arresting its leader Osama bin Laden. The Afghanistan Northern Alliance provided the majority of troops, with support from the United States and NATO countries including the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Australia. President George W. Bush accused Osama bin Laden of masterminding the September 11, 2001 attacks. Osama bin Laden was allegedly hidden by the Taliban group that controlled Afghanistan at that time. President Bush asked the Taliban to hand over Osama bin Laden, but the Taliban refused. Then, on October 7, 2001 the US and its alliances started Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan (Ayub & Kouvo, 2008; Massie & Zyla, 2018). However, after about twenty years of engaging in irregular warfare against the terrorist groups Al Qaeda and the Taliban the United States decided to withdraw its military forces from Afghanistan (Kermani & Zubaide, 2021).

In addition to countries in the MENA Region, a number of countries in other regions of the world are also involved in irregular warfare, both against insurgency groups, terrorists, and criminals or a combination of these groups. In accordance with its irregular nature, it is often difficult to categorize whether a group involved is purely an insurgency, terrorist, or criminal group because the insurgency group may carry out terror or criminal activities. However, based on analysis of existing studies, irregular warfare is generally related to insurgency or separatist groups.

Currently in almost all regions of the world there are countries facing insurgency groups, which means they are dealing with irregular warfare, including in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa. In Europe, Spain, for example, has been dealing with demands for secession from the Basques to establish an independent state of its own. The majority of the Basques live in Spain and some in France. Apart from facing the separatist movement from Basque ethnic group, they are also facing similar problems from the citizens of Catalonia, which is an autonomous region in Spain which is located in the Northeast region of the country. France is also not free from the problem of the separatist movement, namely demands from residents on the island of Corsica who want to establish their own state apart from France (Kostov, 2020; Mrad, 2019).

Currently there are at least 23 countries in the European region that are facing the problem of separatist movements, whether they want full independence or extensive autonomy status. In the Western European region there are eight countries, namely Denmark, England, Scotland, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Austria, while in the Eastern European region there are fifteen countries including Russia, the Baltics, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia. , Macedonia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, and Greece (Anderson, 2018).

The problem of separatist movements also occurs in the American continent, especially in Latin America such as in El Savador, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico (Ortiz, 2021). Several countries in the African region such as Nigeria, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Congo, Mali, and Sudan have also been facing the problem of separatism (Thomas, 2018). Nigeria, for example, faces a number of separatist movements based on religious, ethnic, and regional sentiments due to dissatisfaction with the domination of the Hausa/Fulani ethnic groups in the existing Government (Adangor, 2017). Meanwhile, Sudan is facing the separatist movement Sudan's People Liberation Army (SPLA), which is a movement of community groups in Southern Sudan dissatisfied with the Central Government in Northern Sudan (Ahmed, 2018).

Conflicts due to separatist movements have also been experienced by a number of countries in Asia, including in the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. In the Middle East, for example, Turkey has been dealing with separatist movement from the Kurds ethnic group (Kolçak, 2020). In South Asia, Pakistan is facing a separatist movement from the Baluch ethnic in the Baluchistan Province and India is facing a separatist movement in the State of Tamil Nadu (Kokab & Hussain, 2020; Sajid, 2020). Meanwhile in Southeast Asia, Thailand has problem with the separatist Patani United Liberation Front (PULO) in Southern Thailand, the Philippines has been facing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) separatist group in the Southern Philippines (Saidin & Yusoff, 2020). Indonesia is not free from such problem. At present the country also has been engaging with irregular warfare against the separatist movements, especially in Papua (Druce, 2020; Widjojo et al., 2010) and in Aceh (Yusuf et al., 2020). In addition, Indonesia also has to deal with irregular warfare against terrorists groups including Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), Laskar Jihad (LJ), East Indonesia Mujahideen (Mujahidin Indonesia Timur / MIT) and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) (Galamas, 2015).

Indonesia’s Irregular Warfare against Insurgencies

Since Indonesia’s declaration of independence on August 17, 1945, the country has been facing a number of insurgency groups including those claiming as the State of Pasundan (Negara Pasundan), Darul Islam (DI) and Indonesian Islamic Army (Tentara Islam Indonesia/TII) in West Java; Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia / PKl) in Java; the State of East Sumatra (Negara Sumatera Timur), the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia (Pemerintahan Revolusi Republik Indonesia / PRRI), and the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka / GAM) in Sumatra; the Struggle of the People of the Universe (Perjuangan Rakyat Semesta / Permesta) and the State of East Indonesia in Sulawesi; the Republic of South Maluku (Republik Maluku Selatan / RMS) in Maluku; and the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka /OPM) in Papua. Most of the insurgency groups were active in the 1940s to 1960s and soon crushed in those years . However, a few are still active and attempting to separate from Indonesia. The most prominent ones are GAM in Aceh and OPM in Papua (Ditjen Strahan Kemhan, 2020, pp. 1–4).

Armed conflict between the Government of Indonesia and GAM has occurred since 1976. However, the root of the insurgency problem in Aceh actually dates back to the Dutch colonial periods. In the past Aceh became one of the centers of the struggle for independence, both through armed and political struggle. After Indonesia's declaration of independence, Aceh people broadcasted the declaration of independence through Radio Rimba Raya, which was a radio station aired from the wilderness of Aceh forest. During the transition period, there was a split argument between the Muslim Clerics (Ulama or Tengku in Acehnese language) and the Nobles (Uleebalang / Teuku in Acehnese language) regarding the position of Aceh whether it should have been independent within the ruling of the newly born the Republic of Indonesia or still under the Dutch colonial Government. In the end the first option was chosen and Aceh become part of the Republic of Indonesia.

However, Aceh's relationship with the central Government was not harmonious because it was only granted status as a district under the Province of East Sumatra. The disappointment of the Acehnese people resulted in the emergence of DI/TII Aceh led by Daud Beureuh. The DI/TII Aceh movement declared itself as an affiliate of Kartosuwiryo’s DI/TII in West Java. The conflict was finally resolved through a deliberation between the central Government and Aceh people on 17-21 December 1962. The meeting decided to grant Aceh a status as a Province and Special Region. The leader of the DI/TII insurgency group Daud Beureueh surrendered and DI/TII was disbanded. After the disbandment of DI/TII the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) was formed and spearheaded by Hasan Tiro who was an intellectual and considered himself the Ambassador of DI/TII at the United Nations during the leadership of Daud Beureueh. However, Hasan Tiro changed his vision of Aceh from initially an Islamic-leaning Aceh to a nationalist Aceh. The birth of GAM was mainly due to dissatisfaction with the repressive approach taken by the security forces and accusations that the central Government was exploiting Aceh's natural resources without paying attention to the welfare of the Acehnese people. The Indonesian Government attempted to engage in dialogue with GAM to resolve the issue but failed. Therefore, the Government implemented martial law in Aceh in 2003. During the martial law period, attempts for opening dialogue continuing and finally on 15 August 2005 a peace agreement was reached between the Indonesian Government and GAM. The Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) in Helsinki, Finland facilitated the peace agreement which is later known as the Helsinki Agreement. The agreement marked a new era for Aceh and Indonesia, namely an era of peace. Although there has been peace, there are still a number of unresolved issues. As a result, there are indications that some GAM members still have the desire to separate themselves from Indonesia. One such indication, for example, can be seen from the name for the Province, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), which means the State of Aceh. NAD also has the Aceh Regional People's Representative Assembly (DPRD Aceh) and the local Aceh Party. The GAM flag, which was banned by the government, was even used as the flag of the Aceh Party. The controversy over the Aceh Party's flag has often been the subject of public discussion ahead of the commemoration of the agreement between Indonesia and GAM on every 15 August. This condition makes the political and security situation in Aceh is not fully peaceful yet. The residue of the conflict still has the potential to trigger an open conflict threatening national security (Ditjen Strahan Kemhan, 2020, pp. 14–18).

The second threat of insurgency occurred in Papua, which stemmed from the OPM's attempts to secede from Indonesia to form an independent state of Papua. The conflict in Papua has been lasting for more than five decades since the founding of the OPM on December 1, 1965. The conflict has resulted in enormous losses, including civilian casualties. According to Widjojo et al. (2010, p. 37) the conflict in Papua has four main causes, namely 1) the history of integration, political status and political identity of the Papuan people; 2) political violence and human rights violations; 3) failures of development program in the region; and 4) marginalization of the Papuans.

Until now, the conflict has not subsided. Recently its intensity even has been increasing. The efforts of the Papuan separatist groups which previously consisted of several factions into an organization called the United Liberation of West Papua (ULMWP) and also the use of international organization platforms show that the problem of separatism in Papua is serious and threatening the country’s national security. The Government has made various efforts to solve these problems, such as infrastructure development, granting special autonomy status, and increasing profit sharing between the central Government and the regional Government in Papua concerning the yields of Papua’s natural resources favoring the regional Government of Papua. The Government has also stopped military operations and replaced them with law enforcement operations carried out by the police. However, so far these efforts have not been able to fully resolve insurgency problems in Papua as expected.

The failure to resolve conflicts in Papua is suspected due to incomprehensive approaches taken in solving the problem. The Government has been relying too much on security approach. Indeed, the Government, both central and regional, also uses a human development approach, but the efforts for implementing the program is not as focus as those of the security approach. As a result, the security approach has not succeeded in solving all the root causes so that conflicts continue to occur (B. Anderson, 2015, pp. 24–25).

Indonesia’s Irregular Warfare against Terrorists Groups

Indonesia’s national security threats originating from terrorist groups have a long history, namely since the 1980s. Long before the terrorist group's attack on WTC on September 11, 2001, Indonesian had already experienced attacks from terrorist groups. The first incident was the hijacking of an Indonesian aircraft operated by the country’s flag carrier Garuda Indonesia on March 28, 1981, by a group claiming to be members of Komando Jihad. The plane and its passengers were finally set free through a counter terrorist operation but took some fatalities. One flight crew, one military member, and three hijackers were killed (Muthohirin, 2015). The second terrorist group attack occurred on January 21, 1981. A group claiming to be a jihadist group bombed the Borobudur Temple, a Buddhist temple in centra Java (Pratama et al., 2019).

After these two incidents, there were no more terror attacks in Indonesia until a bomb attack on the Philippine Embassy on August 1, 2000. A car bomb exploded in front of the house of the Philippine Ambassador, Menteng, Central Jakarta, killing 2 people and injuring 21 others. These bombings were followed by three more incidents in the same year, namely the bombing of the Malaysian Embassy on 27 August 2000, the bombing of the Jakarta Stock Exchange on 13 September 2000, and the bombing of a number of places in Indonesia on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2000. The bombing of the Malaysian Embassy had no fatality, but the other two bombings killed 10 people and 16 people respectively and injured dozens of people (Juned, 2017; Prasetyo, 2018)

Since then, bomb attacks have occurred almost every year in Indonesia. The objects of the attacks varied from hotels, restaurants, churches, mosques, embassies of foreign countries to police stations. Among these attacks, the biggest bombing incidents were two bombings in Bali. The first one occurred on October 12, 2002. This bomb attack killed 202 people, the majority of whom were Australian citizens and injured around 300 others. Another bomb attack in Bali occurred on October 1, 2005, which left 22 people dead and 102 others injured. The bomb attack occurred at a restaurant and a cafe in the tourist area of ​​Bali (Chasdi, 2020)

Terror attacks in Indonesia are generally associated with terrorist groups claiming to be triggered by a religious motive, jihad or holy war. The four most prominent groups are Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), Laskar Jihad (LJ), East Indonesia Mujahideen (Mujahidin Indonesia Timur / MIT) and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) (Galamas, 2015). Although the group labels itself and claims to fight in the name of the religion, namely Islam, many people and analysts do not believe this. Religious leaders and Muslim scholars also share the same view because there is no Islamic teaching that allows killing people because of religious differences. Apart from terrorist groups labelling themselves as Islamic groups and attack other people of different faiths, in Indonesia there are also terrorist groups labelling themselves as Christian groups and attack Muslims as happened during the conflict in Ambon (Schulze, 2002; Van Liere & van Dis, 2018).

Analysts and observers of terrorism argue the roots of terrorism problems are very complicated because they derive from various aspects of life such as religion, politics, history, economy, social, and injustice. Although religion often becomes a justification for terrorists group for their terror acts, it is generally believed they just use it as a cover and gimmick to gain sympathy and support for their actions. Even though they claimed to wage a jihad to defend Islam, the victims as a result of the bomb attacks and acts of violence they carried out had killed more Muslims than people of other faiths.

Regarding political factors, it is stated that terrorism in Indonesia has been connected to the problem of relationship between Islam and the Indonesian state, which is a secular country, as well as the marginalization of Islamic groups in Indonesian politics. The historical factor is related to the dissatisfaction of some Islamic figures in the formulation of the country’s state ideology Pancasila which is considered to have not accommodated their aspirations. Meanwhile, religious factors are mainly related to the influence of transnational radical groups from the Middle East such as ISIS and Al Qaeda (Galamas, 2015; Ismail, 2020). Economic factors such as poverty and social inequality in the community are also suspected to have contributed to trigger people being involved in radical movements and committing acts of terror (Sayuti, 2020). Injustice also becomes one of the triggers for the problem of terrorism in Indonesia. This injustice is not only the one experienced directly by those involved in terrorism acts but also those experienced by other parties such the Palestinians who have received unfair treatment from Israel supported by the United States and other Western countries (Kivimäki, 2007; Shadiqi et al., 2020).

Considering the increasingly serious danger of terrorism in Indonesia, the Government attempts various efforts to find the right solution for its resolution. One of these efforts is the establishment of the National Counterterrorism Agency (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Terorisme / BNPT) in 2010. It aims to counter terrorism and radicalism through synergistic efforts of the Government and communities including prevention, protection, prosecution and deradicalization as well as to increase national awareness and international cooperation to ensure the maintenance of national security. Before the formation of the BNPT, the problem of terrorism was mainly handled by the Indonesian Armed Forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia / TNI) and the Indonesian National Police (Kepolisian Republik indonesia / Polri). However, currently BNPT is at the forefront of combats against terrorism in Indonesia in cooperation with TNI and Polri as well as the communities.

As mentioned earlier, the problem of terrorism roots from in various aspects of life such as economy, politics, history, social, culture, and injustice. Therefore, it requires a variety of approaches to solve the problem. At present, the Indonesian Government approaches in dealing with irregular warfare against terrorist groups fall into three categories, namely through security, political and socio-cultural approaches. These three approaches are carried out simultaneously in order to obtain optimal results.

The security approach is the one involving BNPT, Polri and TNI. The main focus of this approach is to apprehend those committing crimes due to acts of terror and crush terrorist groups in Indonesia. They hunt for terrorist groups or individuals who act on their own who intend, plan and or have carried out acts of terror such as bombings, acts of violence or threats that cause terror to the community. The counterterrorism approach with this security approach involves the BNPT, the anti-terror units of Polri and TNI.

The political approach is carried out by involving the elites and political parties in handling terrorism cases. For example, leaders of Islamic political parties are involved in handling cases to provide understanding to the public, both Muslims and people of other religions, that acts of terrorism are not Islamic teachings. Terrorists who claim to carry out jihad are not actually doing ‘jihad’ but are committing crimes. So eradicating terrorist groups is not an act against Muslims but fighting crimes committed by radical groups. The involvement of the political elites of Islamic parties is also to show the support and commitment of Muslims to the eradication of terrorism crimes.

A socio-cultural approach is in the form of involving community leaders such as religious leaders, community leaders, and youths in various Government programs related to counter-terrorism. This approach aims to prevent the spread of radical teachings among the people, especially the youths. Currently, terrorist groups or religious radicals are targeting young people for recruitment as members of their groups. Under the pretext of jihad and their brainwashing process, they are often able to convince young people to carry out acts of terror in the form of suicide bombings. Therefore, this socio-cultural approach is expected to be able to awaken and fortify young people to understand that acts of terror are not acts of jihad. They are acts of crimes against humanity.


Irregular warfare against insurgency and terrorist groups is a serious problem potentially threatening Indonesia's national security. The two types of irregular warfare require several different approaches because they root from a combination of several causal factors. The Government along with the communities have already taken a combination of approaches to address the problems yet the obtained results are not optimum. This condition is reflected from the still unresolved issues concerning separatist movement in Aceh and in Papua. In addition, acts of terror still occur quite often and even has been increasing in recent years. Therefore, the Government needs to review the existing policies and their implementations as bases for formulating a more effective and targeted approach in order to achieve better results.

To achieve such purposes, the Government has to re-evaluate the doctrine of operations against insurgency and against terrorist groups to be more in line with current conditions. If the security, political and socio-cultural approaches have not been able to solve the problem of separatism and terrorism, additional approaches are needed. The addition of other approaches is required to solve problems more holistically by addressing various aspects of life. The implementation of the current approach also needs to be improved. For example, the security approach which sometimes leads to violent behavior by the state apparatus against the community needs to be evaluated and improved. The security approach must be carried out in a more humane manner to win the hearts and mind of the people so as to separate separatist and terrorist groups from society. If the people take side with the government, the separatist and terrorist groups will automatically lose support and will slowly vanish. The Government also needs to improve and accelerate development programs in various sectors to bring welfare and prosperity to the people by reducing poverty, easing access to education and health facilities, eliminating injustice as well as economic and social inequalities in society.

The efforts to make such improvement are important to provide a sense of peace, security, and comfort to Indonesian communities so that they are never worried about their safety being threatened by acts of terrorism or violence from insurgency groups. In addition, the efforts are also essential to enhance the trust from international community toward Indonesia to draw foreign investments to support national development programs.


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