OtherPapers.com - Other Term Papers and Free Essays

Evolution of the Singapore Armed Forces

Essay by   •  March 29, 2012  •  Case Study  •  905 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,690 Views

Essay Preview: Evolution of the Singapore Armed Forces

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

Different armed forces are shaped according to their unique history, challenges, and geopolitics. To validate if an armed force is preparing for the right or wrong kind of military operations or war, it is therefore essential to first examine its history and the kinds of challenges which the armed force faces.

The history of Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) begins with the passing of the National Service (NS) Amendment act on 14 March 19671. Due to the decision to withdraw British troops when Singapore declared independence2, the government decided that it was of paramount importance for Singapore to develop its own defence force, after drawing painful lessons from the Japanese occupation in the 1940s, as well as Indonesia's Konfrontasi in 1963.

Till today, the mission of SAF remains unchanged, which is to 'enhance Singapore's peace and security through deterrence and diplomacy, and should these fail, to secure a swift and decisive victory over the aggressor3.' Adopting the conscript model from Switzerland and Israel, the 1st Generation of the SAF rapidly acquires weapons and equipment without over-draining the economic resources of the country4. Subsequently, the 2nd Generation SAF focused on combined arms operations, which saw smoother integration between the various army formations such as artillery, infantry, engineers and armour.

The former Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, made no doubts about the importance of having a capable and substantial when Singapore first gained independence in 1965. In his latest memoir, Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going, Lee strongly believes that Malaysia and Indonesia continue to be the main threats which Singapore faces5. Situated among much bigger states which have Muslim population as the majority and are also envy of Singapore's rapid economic progress, it is no wonder that Lee constantly asserts that a strong SAF is critical to Singapore's peace and prosperity. To reinforce his claim, Lee cited an incident which happened in August 9, 1991, on the National Day of Singapore. Just twenty kilometres from Singapore's shores, the Malaysian and Indonesian armed forces held joint parachuting exercise at Kota Tinggi to intimidate Singapore. The SAF reacted by mobilising standby forces to ensure that Singapore's defence was not compromised. The peace of Singapore therefore cannot be preserved without a strong defence force to deter aggressors.

Due to the fact that Singapore lacks strategic depth, SAF adopts a forward-defence military doctrine6. The forward-defence doctrine means launching the first strike on the aggressors, which depends on timely and precise intelligence gathering. This strategy is rational for a state with small land area, as World War II history has shown that Singapore is very unlikely to be able to defend itself if any hostile troops ever landed on Singapore's soil. Singapore fell to the Japanese forces in just a week after



Download as:   txt (5.7 Kb)   pdf (87.8 Kb)   docx (11 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on OtherPapers.com
Citation Generator

(2012, 03). Evolution of the Singapore Armed Forces. OtherPapers.com. Retrieved 03, 2012, from https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/Evolution-of-the-Singapore-Armed-Forces/25523.html

"Evolution of the Singapore Armed Forces" OtherPapers.com. 03 2012. 2012. 03 2012 <https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/Evolution-of-the-Singapore-Armed-Forces/25523.html>.

"Evolution of the Singapore Armed Forces." OtherPapers.com. OtherPapers.com, 03 2012. Web. 03 2012. <https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/Evolution-of-the-Singapore-Armed-Forces/25523.html>.

"Evolution of the Singapore Armed Forces." OtherPapers.com. 03, 2012. Accessed 03, 2012. https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/Evolution-of-the-Singapore-Armed-Forces/25523.html.