Anti Guerilla Operation Against Santoso, The Leader of MIT (The Mujahidin of East Indonnesia) in Central Sulawesi

Anti Guerilla Operation Against Santoso, The Leader of MIT (The Mujahidin of East Indonnesia) in Central Sulawesi

Bellow is the copy of a part of  the news concerning the hunting operation to capture Santoso in Central Sulawesi. It is written : “ Despite declaring small victories in its hunt for most-wanted terrorist Santoso  Abu Wardah and members of Mujahidin of East Indonesia Group (MIT), the government does not have a set end date for Operation Tinombala. …No one knows how long the operation will run. We are going to keep hunting … said Coordinating Minister on the Polittical, Legal,  and Security Affairs,  Lieut. General Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, as quoted by”

To respond to the message of Lieut. General Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, it is likely important for  TNI and especially the Army  to make special effort to increase the capability of the Army unit conducting the anti guerilla war to hunt Santoso group in Central Sulawesi. Aside of this,  the capability of the Combat Intelligence is also necessary to be increased significantly.

This phrases is written just want to suggest the Army Chief of Staff  instructing the Infantry Education and Training Centre in Bandung  to  study the case of Kartosuwiryo and Kahar Muzakar and to conduct special education and training of a group of selected infantry soldiers  using the reference to the hunting operation against Kartosuwiryo and Kahar Muzakar. After this special training is completely done,   a special infantry unit is formulated and sent to Poso to specially hunt Santoso and his group. To support this step the increasing capability of the combat intelligence is also definitely important.


Indonesian Government especially TNI and more special case the Army, and to be more concrete subject the Army Branch, the Infantry has important historical role on the Anti Guerilla Warfare  against two militant rebellion leaders, namely Kartosuwiryo and Kahar Muzakar. Kartosuwiryo was the most militant Moslem Guerilla leader in West Jawa and Kahar Muzakar was the similar militant figure in the South and South East Sulawesi. Both were during the years of sixty.

After long of  tireless  anti guerrilla operation was conducted by the Army,  Kartosuwiryo was captured in a mountain in West Jawa in the middle of Sixty and Kahar Muzakar was captured in the end of Sixty in the jungle close to Lasolo River in South East of Sulawesi.

The case of the hunting operation against Santoso Abu Wardah, leader of Mujahidin of East Indonesia Group (MIT) of to day  certainly has remind us to the case of Kartosuwiryo and Kahar Muzakar during the years of Sixty.

To support the hunting  a military campaign to catch Kartosuweiryo and Kahar Muzakar, beside  the special skill on anti guerilla war operation, the capability of the combat intelligence was also playing important role to prepare the information on the tactical situation at any time. Military campaign means a continueous military operation that never stops.

We could not conclude exactly, but the case of Kartosuwiryo and Kahar Muzakar were finished during the sixty and after this kind of security threat was over  it was likely anti guerilla warfare was forgotten  and modern warfare had influenced much the heart and the mind of the Country leaders especially the Indonesian Armed Forces Commanders.

The Palestinian War, the Korean War, the Irak War, the Gulf War and the Vietnam War as the proxy war between the US and the Soviet Union were modern War happened mostly since the years of seventy after no more guerilla warfare faced by the Indonesian Armed Forces. TNI the new identity of the Indonesia Armed Forces after the era of Reformation likely totally forget the need to maintain the skill on anti guerilla war, since the Constitution decided the internal security of the country is the responsibility of the State Police.

Un-expectedly now the skill on the anti guerrilla war are needed,   but the Police and the TNI are not ready to implement the anti guerilla skill of operation.

We could not predict when the mission to catch Santoso will be over, even the Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal and Security could not predict it.  And the most sensitive question is who is after Santoso. Will a similar militant religious extremist appear again ?

Accordingly it is likely important for TNI especially the Army to decide that the anti guerrilla education and training  should be conducted again. For the country such as Indonesia anti guerilla war of profession is still considered needed. And as the main supporter of this of operation the skill of the combat intelligence unit also should be increased.


Anti guerilla war is very unique military mission. It is not modern war but certainly modern military equipment is occasionally useful, especially in term of the field communication in the jungle and rapid tactical movement.

It needs special requirement and different skill and capability to face the original hill and jungle. Special modern military equipment is occasionally needed to make the easier movement and the transfer of logistic. However every soldier should prepare personally to solve  the hard and difficult condition of the hill and the jungle that may be no one had arrived this area before.

The important steps is certainly the fact and the situation of Central Sulawesi should be collected and understood correctly by the certain Infantry  unit to be assigned to the operation. The Analysis of the Area of Operation is definitely very important.

And  later,  every day the prediction concerning the movement of Santoso should be made by the combat intelligence unit to locate his last position and urgently the military unit is moved to hunt him rapidly.

The  background of  the analysis is  if the period of report is shortened that means the distance to the target is closer and rapidly the power hunter is moving.  This tactical consideration is clearly should be supported by the effective and experience combat intelligence. This analysis concludes that special training on combat intelligence should be also conducted by the Infantry Education and Training Centre.

*) Lieutenant General (Ret) Soedibyo,  the security and military observer.


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