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Nevertheless, many close Western students of ABRI are skeptical that the distinctions are deep and believe that ABRI's top commanders are essentially united in their support for secular governance and dwi fungsi.
Australian as well as American analysts have detected growing ABRI professionalism in this sense as evidenced by the first real strategic planning for the defense of the Natuna Islands and their incorporation in the broader defense of the nation.
ABRI has also been negatively affected, but far less so than opposition political parties, the press, and traditional ethnic and religious institutions.
He would have to turn to ABRI as his primary base of support.
Clearly, either succession scenario is likely to result in a more enhanced role for ABRI.
As an issue, East Timor carries with it two particular negatives: (1) it puts the focus on ABRI under very unfavorable circumstances and (2) demands for East Timor's independence pose a threat to the territorial integrity of Indonesia as a whole.