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Saturday, 06 July 2024 11:08

Indonesia's TNI needs fourth branch: cyber military force

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File - TNI soldiers line up during the commemoration of the 64th anniversary of the Indonesian National Armed Forces in Semarang, Central Java, on October 5, 2009. (ANTARA FOTO/R. Rekotomo/hp)


VOINews, Jakarta: The Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) comprises three branches: the Indonesian Army (TNI AD), Indonesian Navy (TNI AL), and Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU). Recently, there has been growing discourse on the need for a fourth branch: a dedicated cyber military force.

Former governor of the National Resilience Institute (Lemhanas), Andi Widjajanto considers it crucial for the government to act swiftly on this idea.

The creation of a cyber military force is becoming inevitable, considering that state as well as non-state entities can now mount attacks on countries through cyberspace, which do not entail the deployment of conventional war equipment, he opined.

Meanwhile, a cybersecurity expert from State Intelligence College (STIN), Pratama Persada affirmed the potential dangers of cyberwar.

He warned that an attack launched in cyberspace can cripple a targeted country's economy, especially if its banking and financial sectors are targeted.

Such unconventional warfare can disrupt essential infrastructure and facilities related to energy, telecommunication, transportation, and even state administration. Ignoring the possibility of a cyberattack preceding a conventional assault would be imprudent. A nation caught unprepared could be left highly vulnerable.

Indonesia is not powerless in terms of cybersecurity. The National Intelligence Agency (BIN), National Police (Polri), National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN), and the Ministry of Communication and Informatics all play a role.

However, none of these institutions has the sole responsibility of fortifying Indonesia's defenses and repelling cyberattacks. Therefore, establishing a cyber force within the TNI could provide the country with an institution solely focused on cyber threats.

While the TNI already has a cyber unit, its activities and operations are internal, supporting the military's core duties.

The need for a cyber military force has become even more pressing after a recent cyberattack by a foreign hacker disrupted the system of TNI's Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS). (Antara)

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