Post 3 of 4: Deterrence Explained 6. Deterrence “is the use of a threat (explicit or not) by one party in an attempt to convince another party not to upset status quo” (Quackenbush, 2010: 60). More specifically, deterrence is “the persuasion of one’s opponent that the cost and/or risk of a given course of action he might take outweighs its benefits” (George & Smoke, 1974: 11). Consequently, deterrence is a mutual relationship that involves communication and signaling and assumes that states make decisions in accordance with rational cost-benefit calculations that can be manipulated (Mazarr & Goodby, 2011). Just because an aggressor acquires the capability to fire cruise or ballistic missiles does not mean the SAF is deterred — because Singapore practices Total Defence. Total Defence encompasses six key pillars – military, civil, economic, social, psychological and digital defence – and focuses on the need for each Singaporean to play his or her part to keep the country strong. Total Defence Day is marked annually on February 15 to commemorate the anniversary of the surrender of the British to the Japanese on February 15, 1942. 7. On the flip side, Singapore aims to deter an aggressor using two main methods: denying benefits or imposing costs. One, deterrence by denial involves convincing the aggressor that it will not reach its objective, or that the perceived benefits are of little or no value — which is success by any measure since 1967 to 1990. Two, deterrence by imposing costs, or punishment, is about convincing the aggressor that the risk of suffering large losses is high and that the cost of a counter-attack significant — which has been successful since 1991 (see page 9 prior Post 3 of 5: Defusing tensions while standing our ground and working with partners). Further, it was reported that Mahathir said Singapore “may be small”, but it was more powerful than Malaysia. He said that he did not see war as “a means to settle conflicts”. He said that he’d rather sit down to negotiate, even though there may be no result, than go to war. In this specific case, Malaysia made no progress, gave up on its intrusive approach and sought rapprochement at a May 2019 Leader’s Retreat. Only if deterrence and diplomacy, fail, does the SAF have to secure a swift and decisive victory over that aggressor. 8. Why would anyone target Singapore for rocket attacks, except terrorists? Keeping in mind that Singapore hosted the 1st Trump and Kim summit in June 2018 where the US and the DPRK signed a "Joint Statement at the Singapore Summit." As part of defence diplomacy, Singapore also hosts the annual Shangri-La dialogue — as a small country capable of supporting peace efforts and advocating its own interests, effectively, at the international stage (see paragraph 5 (ii) earlier). It can be argued that Singapore’s policy of zero enemies and many friends works. 9. Not sure why you want to talk like a fanboy and call us ''partners in crime'' of the USA — given Singapore’s advanced military capabilities, ‘non-aligned’ posture and strong defence relations with numerous parties that do not see eye to eye. With regard to 4 of the P5 UNSC members, Singapore has strong relations with: the Americans (the 1990 MOU would be renewed by 2020, and it will incorporate partnership elements of the US’ National Defence Strategy); the English (read up on FPDA and it’s role); the French (2019 is the 20th anniversary of the Singapore’s advanced jet training in Cazaux, France); and the Chinese (with Singapore also upgrading of its defence ties with the Chinese later this year). 10. No you do not. You misunderstand Singapore’s military options for escalation within our regional context and our air force’s tool kit for full spectrum escalation dominance in a conventional war scenario — a ballistic missile attack on Singapore gives us Casus belli — right to war. Any attack on Singapore, if it successfully occurs, only invites a response from the SAF, until Singapore is satisfied. With a defence budget of S$15.5 billion for FY2019 (up from S$14.8 billion for FY2018), Singapore is the most densely defended country in Southeast Asia. See also: Spotter’s Guide: NDP 2019 Mobile Column and the videos as a backgrounder on options and capability: 11. How Singapore fights an aggressor is going to be dictated by: Our perceived threat matrix. The type of force structure Singapore has built to address the said threat matrix (details provided in prior posts). Where the fight may occur and its terrain or geographic features. What Singapore is trying to accomplish (mission/goal). Other concerns (foreign policy, etc.) Which means, the SAF is not preparing to fight a hostile nuclear power or Indonesia, alone. IMO, hostilities between Indonesia and Singapore is unlikely, as the TNI and the SAF train together and have a record of working together. For example, the SAF’s UAV command deployed the Scout RPV to provide intelligence to the TNI to resolve the Mapenduma hostage crisis in 1996. Further, Singapore provides a submarine rescue service for the Indonesian Navy. It also provides the Indonesian Navy with the Surpic II information sharing portal, a sea surveillance system, set up since 2005, to provide maritime awareness of the Singapore Strait. Under a Defence Cooperation Agreement, Singapore provides training assistance to the TNI, including G-Tolerance trainer and Super Puma simulator trainer, and professional courses like the Combined Fighter Weapons Instructor Course. To date, hundreds of TNI-AU pilots have undergone simulator training in Singapore, and 10 TNI-AU instructors have graduated from the Combined Fighter Weapons Instructor Course. Marking five decades of bilateral defence relations, the RSAF and TNI-AU executed a combined 20 F-16 flypast on 7 Sep 2017, over Singapore. 12. Besides, any surprise attack on Singapore is an attack on the US logistics presence and as ngatimozart noted this hurts the interests of our FPDA partners, like Australia, UK and NZ — which can only benefit Singapore in ensuring that we will have external support, for what we need to do to remove the threat. Our Changi naval base also currently hosts International Liaison Officers from 18 countries — an attack on Singapore is an attack on officers from 18 countries. For geo-political details, read the thread on ‘South China Sea thoughts?’, as a backgrounder.