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The best strategy to defending Singapore Island

Discussion in 'Strategy & Tactics' started by Twister, Dec 31, 2008.

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  1. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    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.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 9:26 AM
  2. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Post 4 of 4: Importance of geography and context
    13. This is a real concern and there is some investment in this area.
    14. For giggles, it is also possible to argue that by 2050, Indonesia’s military capability will be close to par, when compared with that of Pakistan (who is so impoverished with a 2018 GDP of USD278 billion), given Indonesia's larger USD 1.1 trillion dollar economy in 2018.
    15. This aspect of your discussion, ignoring geography, can’t be serious. A country cannot change its locale nor geography. Where you are located matters. You can’t teleport countries or use a dimensional ‘gate’ to move armies, like that of Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, South Korea or Japan, to invade Singapore. In addition, why would you list such a dubious choice and be so silly as to consider Iran as militarily advanced (when compared to Indonesia)? Let me list the reasons why I would not use Iran as an example:

    • Iran does not have a modern air force (when compared to TNI AU’s 4 squadrons of modern fighters). Iran’s out dated air force is very much inferior in capability when compared with Singapore’s tertiary air force — that regularly takes part in DACT exercises like ‘Exercise Red Flag’. Other than Iran’s HESA Saeqeh (F-5 clone), Mig 29s and Su-24s, the vast majority of Iranian fighter aircraft are of late 70s vintage (i.e. obsolete).
    • After eight years of fighting in the Iran-Iraq war, neither side could really claim victory. Both Iran and Iraq suffered devastating loses of men, materiel, and financial resources in the 1980s. You can even speculate or argue that officer cadre in the TNI are much more tactically competent than Iran’s army officers due to access to international connections that is not available to Iran — with the Americans, Australians and Singaporeans helping the TNI modernise it’s equipment and TTPs, in wide ranging defence cooperation. Not sure why you would list Iran, as a militarily advanced country, given their army’s prior less than competent human wave tactics (and 3rd rate equipment) during the Iran-Iraq war (Sep 1980 to Aug 1988).
    • As an objective observer, Indonesia as a G-20 member and larger country, is much more powerful as a country, when it is compared to Iran. Indonesia co-founded and leads 9 other ASEAN countries, to create an open and inclusive security architecture — ADMM Plus and the ASEAN Regional Forum are examples of its diplomatic power. Who does Iran lead, as an isolated middle power? Iran is caught between a rock and a hard place (that is not even qualified to be a G-2o member). In time I hope that you will become capable of critical thinking and stop blindly buying into Iranian propaganda.

    It is a pity that the basis to support your view is using anime logic (like The Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought There). More importantly, the very capable JSDF do not have the logistics or the will to invade Singapore.
    16. Agreed. Artillery threats, be they shells, mortars and rockets against Singapore main island has been around before Singapore gained her independence and during WWII, the crown colony was shelled by the Japanese Imperial Army. It is not something new and the SAF’s force structure is designed for forward defence to manage this threat. It is very much a key part of SAF`s contingency plans — see my prior ‘Post 1 of 2: Why Ahmad’s 2 prior posts are not logical’. SSJArcher Krich does not realise that 122mm to 239mm rocket attacks do not work to induce surrender; due to the substantial precision attack (up to 72 km) and counter battery capabilities of the Singapore Army, explained in prior posts. IMO, he is unable to tell the difference in the effect and range of rockets (below 239mm) versus 400mm to 600mm ballistic missiles (capable of long range attack that Singapore’s Aster missiles is designed to counter).
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 1:53 AM
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