In the middle of the crucial time, when Dutch tried to gain West Irian from Indonesia by any means, believe it or not, Soeharto was the power which unites the Republic of Indonesia. On the other hand, Soeharto was known as a war leader. However, what Soeharto did at that time was in purpose to regain West Irian and to unite Indonesia.
According to the history, operation to liberate West Irian was the second operation for Soeharto after the Attack on March 1st, 1949. On December 19th, 1961, Indonesia’s President Soekarno decreed the establishment of the People’s Triple Command or Tri Komando Rakyat (Trikora) which aims to fight Dutch in West Irian. Trikora’s operational command was called Mandala Command for the Liberation of West Irian with Major-General Suharto, serving as the commander. In preparation for the planned invasion, the Mandala command began making land, air, and sea incursions into West Irian
The real purposes of Mandala Command created by Soekarno were:
- Planning, preparing, and implementing military operation in order to return West Irian into the Republic of Indonesia.
- Developing the situation in West Irian Province in accordance with the struggle in the field of diplomacy and in the shortest possible time, the West Irian Region can be de facto created free areas or there is an element of power / local government of the Republic of Indonesia..
And the strategies designed by Mandala Commander to conduct those instructions were:
- Infiltration Stage (until the end of 1962), namely by placing 10 military companies around the certain targets to create a strong de facto-free region so that it will be hard to destroy by enemy and to develop territorial procurement by bringing along papuan people.
- Exploitation Stage (beginning of 1963), conducting open fire towards the enemy military base and occupying all important defense posts.
- Consolidation Stage (beginning of 1964), namely by showing the power and enforcing the absolute sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia throughout West Irian.
By throwing back to the history and learning about the implementation of Mandala Command. We know that, Mandala Command is one of Indonesia’s efforts in regaining West Irian from Dutch colonialism.