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Indonesian Defense Chief May Smooth Path for Army Novice Widodo

Former Suharto-era general Ryamizard Ryacudu, tapped by Indonesian President Joko Widodo for defense minister, could become a conduit to the powerful armed forces for the country’s first leader to rise from outside the aristocracy or the military.

Ryacudu, who spearheaded anti-separatist crackdowns in his time as army chief of staff in the early 2000s, said he’s waiting for instructions from Widodo for defending an archipelago that would stretch from New York to Alaska.