Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore

Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore

Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore

Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore

Synopsis

The most comprehensive and up-to-date account of the military capabilities of Singapore: a stable and prosperous city-state in a potentially unpredictable region.

Excerpt

The minuscule island-state of Singapore is exceptional in a number of respects, especially in its economic accomplishments. A further striking expression of that exceptionalism has been in its government's provision for defence. Singapore stands out within Southeast Asia for the absolute and relative size of its defence budget, for the technological sophistication of its armed forces and for its model of military mobilisation. In addressing these and related topics, Dr Tim Huxley has provided the first comprehensive and scholarly account of the origins, evolution and institutional experience of Singapore's defence establishment. He brings to this subject some two decades of assiduous research based on fieldwork within Southeast Asia and involving a thorough scouring of available source materials.

At issue in this meticulous study is why Singapore, which has never experienced armed attack or an explicit threat of force since independence, should engage in defence provision well beyond that of any regional neighbour. Indeed, Dr Huxley points out that Singapore is probably the most densely defended state anywhere. He explains the strategic perspective that informs such defence provision as well as the corresponding strategic doctrine based on registering a credible deterrent capability towards its closest neighbours, in particular. He also provides a detailed account of the evolution of the country's separate services since an unanticipated independence and their roles in the order of battle, as well as an important analysis of civil-military relations in which the non-involvement in politics of serving officers contrasts with the political role assumed by select senior counterparts on retirement from active service.

Dr Huxley notes that Singapore's defence policy is transparent . . .

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