The best strategy to defending Singapore Island

If you look at Singapores IFVs there is a political and foreign policy dimension at play. Say it decided to acquire 300 German IFVs plus ancillary equipment all sourced from Germany. Normally no problems because Singapore and Germany have a good relationship. However one day the PRC does something to really annoy Singapore so Singapore decides to invade the PRC in order to give it a good thrashing and teach it a lesson in manners. Germany chokes on its beer, is very put out by Singapores actions, and slaps an arms embargo on Singapore, meaning no ongoing support of any kind for its 300 German built and maintained IFVs. Hence these expensive examples of high quality German engineering are parked up, about as useful as electric coat hangers and Singaporean Army is short 300 IFVs. Most of the scenario is fantasy apart from the fact that Germany does slap arms embargoes on nations that it believes are in the wrong, such as committing aggressive war, abusing human rights etc. Saudi Arabia is its favourite target at the moment. So by building it's own IFVs etc., it negates most of those problems. That's just one example.
A fair amount of time spent in the rum store required if I'm to get my head around this scenario.
 

Lone Ranger

Member
@OPSSG, if major programs like Future Combat System, Ground Combat Vehicle and Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle can be canned, so can MPF (Mobile Protected Firepower) and I won't be surprised. I just find that they are still kinda lost on how they want to fight their next war, at least on paper. Their vision and tech space just don't seem to meet.

Urban warfare will be heavily weighted in the next phase of the SAF development and I shared your view. It will likely be a system approach whereby the focus will be placed on integrated-network-precision strike. System like FIRE WEAVER (not sure if there will be a SAF version) and autonomous vehicles (both land and air) will likely be some of the enablers. Precision strike ammunition (SPIKE LR2, XM395 & ST PM120) with limited collateral damage will be weapons of choice as they will allow more freedom of action.

Now I am curious, how will the Next Gen Infantry Battalion look like and how it will effects other formation like Armour.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
A fair amount of time spent in the rum store required if I'm to get my head around this scenario.
@SouthernSky and @ngatimozart, no need to drink or think hard on the near impossible scenario. Lol.

1. Singapore is not going to fight China. By geography, there is only 1 country where the SAF can conduct its forward defence — only if they miscalculate and cross any of the 3 red lines that make war inevitable.

2. There are too many of the SAF’s German made trucks (in the thousands) in service, including:
(i) the Rheinmetall MAN HX45M wheeled recovery vehicles; and​
(ii) the 500 strong fleet of MAN Light Transporters under Project Ethan (derivatives of the civilian MAN TGM 18.280 twin-axle, 4x4 cargo truck), are of German origin. A key difference from the SAF’s older MAN 5-tonners is the noticeably longer wheelbase. This allows the MAN Light Transporters - known as Ethans by army personnel - to carry a 20 foot container with ISO twist-locks on its cargo bed.​

An arms embargo by the Germans would in the medium term cripple our army’s logistics arm, until an alternative is stood up. More important than the 180 Leopard 2 tanks acquired thus far (that were locally upgraded), is the life-time support required for the 4 new Invincible-class (Type 218SG) submarines that Singapore is in the process of acquiring. Any hint of a German arms embargo will see the Singapore Navy crawling back to Sweden.

3. For a vehicle fleet, there are 3 considerations to manage. One, short term embargo risk, to be mitigated by spare parts stocking and having local repair facilities. Two, medium to long term sustainment risk. Lastly, obsolescence risk. Some of the short term embargo risk is managed by stocking enough spares.

4. Diversification of suppliers is another form of risk management, for the medium to long term.

(i) As part of this diversification efforts, in Sept 2018, South Africa's Paramount Group and Singapore's ST Engineering Land Systems arm announced a commitment to joint marketing of the 20 ton weight class Belrex (4x4) family of wheeled Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP) vehicles.​
(ii) Each vehicle of this MRAP family is powered by a Cummins ISBe4-300 Diesel engine and the family comprises 10 variants (namely, security, engineer, reconnaissance, logistics, fuel, medical, mortar, signal, maintenance and mortar ammunition carrier) and is based on the Paramount Marauder (4x4) MRAP.​
(iii) The 10 Belrex variants leverage ST Engineering experience in the design, development and production of armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) mobility platforms as the Belrex Protected Combat Support Vehicle (PCSV), which was officially commissioned into the Singapore Army in November 2016. Paramount delivered twelve vehicles to Singapore between 2013 and 2014 for trials and system integration by ST Kinetics.​

5. Beyond embargo risk management, vehicle fleet life-cycle management is also about keeping obsolescence risk at bay. This means Singapore needs to have unrestricted rights to resell old vehicles into the international market. For example, the Singapore Army's fleet of IVECO 90-17 WM 3 tonners have been retired, repainted blue and resold for commercial use.

6. Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) is prepared to move forward with product development and weapon system projects should Western embargoes limit those efforts, the CEO told Defense News. “We have signed more than 25 agreements with foreign partners, so we have multiple opportunities to acquire alternative technologies from other partners where there are no limitations. There is no risk that any limitation of a single country or government can block Saudi Arabia from getting a full localized portfolio of products,” Andreas Schwer said during the Dubai Airshow in Nov 2019. To that end, in Jun 2019 SAMI signed a MoU with ST Engineering that will entail introducing the 8x8 Terrex 2 platform to the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF), developing a next-generation Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) for RSLF, and exploring partnership in MRO capability for commercial and military customers. In addition, it will include building ships and naval crafts, examining scope for participation in C-130 upgrade and development of a new transport aircraft, and helping modernize the Saudi electronics manufacturing industry.
 
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CheeZe

Active Member
Thank you to everyone who posted in reply to my questions. My apologies for any brusqueness or offense caused, @OPSSG. I find it difficult sometimes to tell tone on internet forums.

I hadn't heard about the Next Gen Infantry Battalion and second @Lone Ranger 's question. And may I ask what are the three red lines which must not be crossed? I think I can guess two of them (water and independence) but I can't think of a 3rd off the top of my head.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thank you to everyone who posted in reply to my questions. My apologies for any brusqueness or offense caused, @OPSSG. I find it difficult sometimes to tell tone on internet forums.

I hadn't heard about the Next Gen Infantry Battalion and second @Lone Ranger 's question. And may I ask what are the three red lines which must not be crossed? I think I can guess two of them (water and independence) but I can't think of a 3rd off the top of my head.
You are correct that cutting off water supply from Johor is 1 of the 3. More importantly, directly cutting off water supply from Johor gives Singapore Casus belli — a right to war. The Malaysians do try to test the redline below the threshold for war and regarding the supply of water, they have done a variation of this, by allowing pollution levels to rise to the extent that PUB stopped the import of raw water. See: PUB's Johor River Waterworks temporarily shut down in 7 pollution incidents since 2017: Masagos

Before I stop going further off-topic, let me share 4 additional points for context, to assist your understanding.

One, if you don’t mind, I don’t want to express all 3 redlines in an open source matter — just in case a radical/terror group in Malaysia wants to be deliberate in crossing it to force war — by Aug 1991, the Malaysian Government under Dr M understood roughly where these 3 redlines were and did not dare to cross any of them (based on their own understanding).

Two, independence is the 2nd core foreign policy principle, rather than a redline (but you are close) — DIPLOMACY OF LITTLE RED DOT: PAST AND PRESENT

Three, as you are well aware, on 23 May 2008, the ICJ ruled that Singapore had sovereignty over Pedra Branca, while Middle Rocks was awarded to Malaysia and South Ledge belonged to the state in whose territorial waters it is located. There are developments after the ICJ ruling that you may not have noticed.
(i) I note that Malaysia filed two applications after the ruling - one on 2 Feb 2017, and a second on 30 Jun 2017, where Malaysia sought an interpretation of the same ICJ judgment (that they have since discontinued). It requested that the ICJ declare the waters surrounding Pedra Branca to be Malaysia’s and in turn, the sovereignty of South Ledge belongs to Malaysia – a move that Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs described as “puzzling”, “unnecessary and without merit”.​
(ii) It is the second application that concerns me — where Malaysia is engaging in lawfare. Lawfare is not something in which persons engage in the pursuit of justice; rather it is a negative undertaking and is a counter-productive perversion of the law. The essence of the issue with lawfare arguments is the misuse of the legal system and its principles in an attempt to damage or delegitimise them, by tying up their time or trying to win a public relations victory.​

Four, to prevent further Malaysian attempts at lawfare over Singapore’s port waters off-Tuas, the Singapore Government filed a declaration under Article 298(1)(a) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on 12 Dec 2018. This declaration means that other States Parties to UNCLOS cannot unilaterally commence third party arbitration or adjudication against Singapore in respect of maritime boundary disputes. Singapore likewise cannot unilaterally commence third-party arbitration or adjudication against other UNCLOS States Parties for such disputes.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 1 of 3: Learning lessons from mistakes of others

Nations do not have permanent friends or enemies, only interests,” which was a phrase most often attributed to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger but was originally uttered by Henry John Temple, twice British Prime Minister in the mid-1800s.

1. We should keep the above phrase in mind when looking at the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Qatar that Singapore can learn from.
(i) Three years ago, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt conducted an economic boycott of Qatar that had tremendous repercussions on the economy of Qatar.​
(ii) Both Saudi Arabia and Qartar were members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) before the Saudi decision to cut diplomatic and trade ties with Doha.​
(iii) Tensions with Qatar have revolved around its support for political Islamic movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as complaints about the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is based in Doha. These tensions were exacerbated by the Arab Spring in 2011 when Saudi Arabia and Qatar were seen as backing different sides.​

2. The trigger for the economic boycott occurred on 23 May 2017. Hackers posted false statements attributed to Qatar's emir on the Qatari state news agency's website — which is an effective use of cyber warfare by Qatar’s adversaries to provide the smoking gun to Doha’s double dealing. The fake remarks, praising Iran and criticising US foreign policy, were picked up and aired on several UAE and Saudi-owned television networks.
(i) On 5 June 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt issued statements announcing the severing of diplomatic relations with Qatar. Saudi Arabia then shut its land border with Qatar, and together with three other countries imposed a land, sea and air boycott on its neighbour.​
(ii) The four neighboring countries point to Qatar’s non-compliance with the Riyadh agreements (a series of deals between the six Persian Gulf nations of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain that were signed in 2013 and 2014). In those handwritten agreements, the countries pledged to support stability in Egypt, cease support for terrorist groups and not support “antagonistic media,” a reference to Al Jazeera, the state-funded news station based in Qatar.​
(iii) Qatar likes to call this economic boycott, a blockade, as part of its lawfare strategy — with the economic boycott having sea, land and air dimensions. Qatar asked the ICJ to allow the United Nations’ ICAO to “address the merits of these time-sensitive disputes” — in Qatar’s challenge to an airspace ‘blockade’ imposed by its neighbours who not only canceled all flights between their countries and Qatar, but also forbade Qatari planes from flying over their airspace. This aerial blockade forced Qatar Airways to take circuitous routes that not only added to flight times, boosted fuel costs, and enabled Oman and Iran to charge Qatar extra for flying over their airspace.​

How a less prepared small country like Qatar survives under an economic boycott of its neighbours is instructive for Singapore as additional lessons to re-learn on its Economic Defence strategy.

3. By way of background, on 2359 hours of 17 Mar 2020, Malaysia closed the causeway to the prevent the free movement of its own people with a day’s notice (on a 14 day movement control order) due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Food deliveries from Malaysia to Singapore have continued and Singaporeans are still allowed to leave Johor (but cannot re-enter until 31 Mar 2020). Malaysia’s decision to impose a Movement Control Order to combat the spread of COVID-19 is not surprising, as many other countries have already imposed similar lockdowns. This poorly thought through Movement Control Order lacked a FAQ, to help the general public of both countries understand the extent of the curbs by Malaysia. This resulted in Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore having to clarify to the public that the movement of food supplies from Malaysia to Singapore was not affected. As Lee Hsien Loong noted on 17 Mar 2020, on Facebook:
“... Meanwhile, I am happy to see that in the supermarkets, while the queues are longer than usual, people are taking it in their stride and only buying what they need. We need not worry, as we have prepared for such an eventuality, and have plans in place to cope.”​

4. As John Lam has noted on Facebook, a few hours prior to the Prime Minister’s clarification (on the Malaysian stance after calling his counterpart):
“... First of all Singapore has at least 3 months worth of food supplies in government warehouses. Even if there is not a single morsel of food entering Singapore for the next 2 weeks due to Malaysia’s lock down, Singapore will not starve. (For those who are mathematically challenged, 3 months is about 6 times longer than 2 weeks).​
Secondly, Malaysia is just one of the sources of food produce. There are 11 other countries who are not on lock down where food can be sourced from.​
Thirdly, Singapore has domestic production capabilities in a number of food items such as eggs (27%), vegetables (13%), fish (10%), canned goods, infant powder and many more. We may not be fully self sufficient but we are not entirely dependent on imports either.​
Fourthly, Malaysian food exporters will probably be hurt more than consumers in Singapore if they cannot export their food produce. Even if Malaysia’s lockdown applies to food exports, this cannot go on indefinitely without affecting their own local industries. Eventually trade will find a way.​
Finally, Singapore has topped the Global Food Security Index for 2 years in a row over the past 2 years. This means that according to the experts at the Economist Intelligence Unit, you are more likely to run out of food anywhere else in the world than in Singapore.”​

5. This is not the first time Singapore has faced a short term disruption of the free movement of goods (or people, in this case) through the causeway with Malaysia. Singapore has planned for food supply disruptions for years, putting in place a comprehensive strategy after the food crisis of 2007 and 2008, which saw the global prices of food shoot up dramatically due to rising oil prices and food stocks diverted to produce biofuels. As the Prime Minister noted, it pays to be prepared for supply disruptions. While food and other essential items have successfully made it across the Causeway into Singapore on 18 Mar 2020 (Wed), some companies delivering non-food materials told TODAY that their cargos were not allowed over the border on the first day of Malaysia's lockdown. Ms Stella Moh, assistant business development manager at trading company Glorreich, said that two lorries containing her company’s goods were being turned away at Malaysia’s checkpoint. Her company brings in packaging materials, such as carton boxes and pallets, for third-party logistics providers to pack their own goods before shipping them out.

6. As I shared previously, Singapore’s Total Defence strategy comprises of 6 pillars: Military, Civil, Economic, Social, Digital and Psychological Defence. Psychological Defence. John Lam’s post and Chan Chun Sing’s posts are good examples of Psychological Defence in action.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 2 of 3: Demonstrating Singaporean capability at Total Defence

7. Economic Defence at work with the quick activation of drawer plans — Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, shared a Facebook post on 19 Mar 2020, at Changi airport (for the supply by air of eggs from Thailand), just 2 days after Malaysia (by being unclear of their new Movement Control Order policy’s effect on food supply to Singapore), created uncertainty in supply of Malaysian supplies of food to Singapore:

“Was at Changi Airport this afternoon to receive a very special cargo - more than 300,000 eggs meant for domestic consumption.​

About a quarter of the eggs we consume are produced locally and a significant number come from Malaysia. However, we also have many other source countries which we have identified over the years and are able to activate them quickly when the need calls for it. This applies not just to eggs but other food products and essential items.​

We managed to activate this option in a matter of two days and I would like to express my appreciation to Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), Singapore Airlines and SATS for helping us to bring the eggs in so quickly.​

These efforts to secure and diversify our food supply have been developed and strengthened through the years. Even though we have a robust plan in place, we do not take it for granted and reassess it regularly to test its robustness against different scenarios...​

#SGUnited”​

8. As part of the collective response to combat COVID-19, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Myanmar, New Zealand and Singapore released a joint ministerial statement that they are committed to maintaining connected supply chains and work closely to identify and address trade disruptions with ramifications on the flow of necessities.

9. Having the correct processes and systems in place to respond to actionable intelligence, Singapore is able to respond to multiple threat vectors at the same time. No medium sized city in the world, is as well led and prepared as Singapore in relation to crisis contingency plans — the health system is preparing for a spike in coronavirus infections, before the end of March, as more and more Singaporeans return from abroad. Singapore’s inter-ministerial coronavirus task force led by Minister Lawrence Wong (supported by Gan Kim Yong, the Minister of Health) has started transferring the less seriously ill coronavirus patients to select private hospital wards (so that the better equipped government hospitals can host the more critically ill returning Singaporeans).

10. Regarding the military front of Total Defence, on 17 Mar 2020, co-operation between Singapore and Indonesian navies ensured the pirates would be caught regardless of which waters they were in. At 0511 hours the Singapore received a report from a bulk carrier, Sam Jaguar, that pirates had boarded the ship in the waters east of Pulau Karimun Kecil, Indonesia. The Singapore Navy immediately began close monitoring of the shipping vessel and dispatched RSS Independence and Police Coast Guard craft towards the location. The incident was resolved when criminals were locked up in the engine room by the crew and subsequently handed over to the Indonesians for prosecution.

11. Regarding the civil defence front of Total Defence, on 18 Mar 2020, 180 SCDF firefighters deployed in 45 emergency vehicles were able to put out blaze with the aid of 12 foam jets, and 2 Unmanned Firefighting Machines (UFMs). An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was also deployed to conduct aerial monitoring of the fire at Tuas Avenue 18. The fire, the size of about one and half football fields, had engulfed two warehouse about five storeys in height. It largely involved drums of flammable substances such as diesel and cleaning agents.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Part 3 of 3: Seeking opportunities for Malaysian and Singaporean cooperation

12. A war — a real war, not a proxy war in some distant sandbox — would result in the SAF being used as an instrument of controlled fury. To force the cool headed Singapore Government into war — a war that a Singaporean conscript army wants to avoid — by testing and crossing any of the 3 red-lines would be a mistake. Three main efforts guide the SAF’s modernisation plans from 2020 onwards are as follows:

One, a multi-domain ground maneuver capability, where units would be able to operate on the ground, underground, with organic UAVs in the air, and supported in the cyber domain.​
Two, upgrading the SAF’s capability for high volume and time sensitive precision strikes.​
Three, supporting the Next Gen Infantry Battalion maneuver efforts are improvements to force multipliers that ensure intelligence superiority, and continuous functionality under fire.​

Doing this Next Gen transformation too slowly will enable the aggressor to close the qualitative gap—a development the SAF cannot afford. In the past, keyboard warriors in this thread and across the causeway have accused the Singaporean conscript (be it serving the the armed forces, civil defence or the police) as being too soft, too short-sighted, too un-warlike, and so on for war. But when shit hit the fan in a crisis and unthinkable measures and bravery were needed as the response, Singapore consistently demonstrates its ability to execute as #SGUnited.

13. Since the SAF declassified and declared its actual military capability with the acquisition the first battery of 18 HIMARS launchers (2007) from the Americans and first batch of 66 Leopard 2A4s (2006) from the Germans, for the SAF’s 3 combined arms divisions, Malaysian politicians are not longer able to use the country’s armed forces to threaten conventional war for political gain — which is why Singapore’s response to the 2018 provocations by Dr M led government at that time is so mild (when compared to the 1991 response).

14. The Singapore-Malaysia Special Working Committee has also agreed that Malaysians with work permits will continue to be able to work on the island during this period, with appropriate accommodation arrangements, with the transport of goods between Malaysia and Singapore facilitated. As Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, Coordinating Minister for National Security, shared on 19 Mar 2020, he remains in communication with Malaysia’s Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the movement of Malaysians from Malaysia to Singapore during this lockdown period. Teo said:

“We are coordinating the measures between our two countries to facilitate Malaysian workers to continue working in Singapore, and the flow of goods, while safeguarding the health of Singaporeans & Malaysians.”​

15. In addition:
(i) Singapore is deeply appreciative of the Malaysian Foreign Ministry Wisma Putra and their Embassy in Tehran for going beyond the call of duty to ferry 8 Singaporeans from Iran to Kuala Lumpur. They will be back home once they have completed their quarantine in Malaysia. International and bilateral cooperation has never been more vital than at an uncertain time like this. This is a promising sign of what I hope is a different Malaysian approach.​
(ii) Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and leader of Bersatu was in Singapore to receive medical treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in 2019. According to local media, the former member of UMNO (part of the ex-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition) was discharged on 7 Aug 2019 after spending close to a month recuperating from a July 12 surgery, in which a Singapore doctor saved his life by removing a growth on his pancreas.​

I hope Malaysians will take a step back and reflect on the acts of hostility by a government led by Dr M since Oct 2018 and start a new chapter of cooperation with Singapore starting in March 2020.

16. Open source data puts the size of Singapore’s rice stockpile at 6 months’ supply. Singapore’s POL stockpile is also substantial and this adds to the supplies already maintained at key installations such as Changi Airport and government ministries, which have their own diesel generators to provide an uninterrupted power supply for a certain period to guarantee some degree of self-sufficiency. Singapore’s other food stockpile is generally planned on the basis of a local short-term contingency, the authorities have since reviewed the numbers to take into account the potential disruption to supply chains worldwide and also for a longer period. Every item across the entire ‘table of essentials’ is being looked at, and that goes beyond food. Among the things kept in stock are medicines and personal protective equipment. Not only have supplies been replenished, but some orders — such as for multivitamin pills — were also increased more than a month ago in anticipation of possible disruptions.

17. Today, in a global pandemic with no end in sight, Singapore faces a whole new set of challenges: an ageing population, disruptive technologies, more capable regional competitors, narrowing geopolitical space, growing non-traditional security threats, and evolving citizen aspirations. The strength of Singapore lies in its unity in the face of these challenges.

18. Despite the global pandemic, the country is welcoming home 200,000 Singaporeans from abroad, even though 68 of the 111 imported coronavirus cases had a travel history to the UK (the largest group of imported cases) and the heath care system is now preparing to welcome back even more seriously ill Singaporeans to the end of March 2020 — again demonstrating its ability to execute as #SGUnited.
 
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0bserver

New Member
No insult intended OPSSG, but you might have hit a TL; DR/wall of text limit that might be more turn offing than edifying. Might want to summarise the text.

On a more relevant topic to the original, IMO, there are 2 ways to defend Singapore beyond the geopolitics that have already been covered in great detail.

Option 1: Forward defence, which is the commonly accepted option, where a buffer zone is created by "rushing" the SAF to secure a perimeter, either a land buffer for Malaysia, or a sea buffer for Indonesia and using firepower to break up concentration of enemy troops as they become a threat (then offer to trade back the land for peace ala Israel and the Sinai, but that's a different story).

Option 2: Fortify Singapore itself. While this may not sound like a good option by common logic since any fighting in Singapore damages Singapore's infrastructure, there are actually a lot of points going for a fortified defence, one of which is the utter headache that trying to take such an area would cause. Singapore is for all intents and purposes, a megacity and for those not familiar with it, buildings of 30 to 40 stories tall are common and in all honesty, if you gave me a company of men and told me to clear one of those 40 storey buildings, it's a quick way to ruin my day. Can you imagine running your men up to, for example, the 28th floor, then someone from the building opposite takes a potshot at you? What are you going to do? Run your men down 27 flights of stairs, cross the street and up another unknown number of stairs? He'll be long gone by then and you're left with dead tired men. More likely than not, you'll just respond with deterring fire, maybe 40mm grenades or a LAW then let him run away if he's still alive because you simply can't get to him. Now repeat this throughout an entire city. Even if casualties are minimal, the harassment is enough to drive people nuts.

One other point of note is that while a lot of people say "just artillery the island", it's not that simple. The reason being the same buildings that can cause an infantry headache can also cause an artillery headache. I had a university friend who was involved in an "Airfield Protection Exercise" decades ago and he mentioned that he encountered a very big problem siteing a 120mm mortar. The buildings surrounding the airfield, while relatively low compared to the rest of the island, were still tall enough to seriously impede artillery trajectories and this is from the defender's side where being closer actually makes it "easier" to shoot between the buildings. Now try that from 200km away. It'll be like trying to hit a target between picket fences when the fence can actually stop your bullets. The common counter to this is to bring your artillery a lot closer so that you can lob rounds "over" the intervening terrain but the side effect to this is that artillery so used is in no way even close to their maximum range, you have to get a lot closer just to get a good shot. Now this is only in regards to an airfield, if an infantry company, for example, were to hide in the basements of even a 20 storey buiding, I have my severe doubts that any conventional form of artillery or air support can actually affect them, not without first bringing the whole building down.

Long story short, while it might be a "all or nothing" gamble to fight in Singapore itself, the location of the fight is a real mess and a terrible headache for any invader and should be considered as a possible option provided that supplies can last long enough. If I recall correctly, the paradigm for FIBUA (fighting in built up areas) is 5 men for every one defender, and Singapore can mobilize close to a million men or more (especially if female volunteers join in) and the amount of infantry needed to take it becomes a mind boggling amount (and IMO, the paradigm is low since the formula was developed for small towns and cities and never had the nightmare of fighting in a megacity in mind).
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
No insult intended OPSSG, but you might have hit a TL; DR/wall of text limit that might be more turn offing than edifying. Might want to summarise the text.

On a more relevant topic to the original, IMO, there are 2 ways to defend Singapore beyond the geopolitics that have already been covered in great detail.

Option 1: Forward defence, which is the commonly accepted option, where a buffer zone is created by "rushing" the SAF to secure a perimeter, either a land buffer for Malaysia, or a sea buffer for Indonesia and using firepower to break up concentration of enemy troops as they become a threat (then offer to trade back the land for peace ala Israel and the Sinai, but that's a different story).

Option 2: Fortify Singapore itself. While this may not sound like a good option by common logic since any fighting in Singapore damages Singapore's infrastructure, there are actually a lot of points going for a fortified defence, one of which is the utter headache that trying to take such an area would cause. Singapore is for all intents and purposes, a megacity and for those not familiar with it, buildings of 30 to 40 stories tall are common and in all honesty, if you gave me a company of men and told me to clear one of those 40 storey buildings, it's a quick way to ruin my day. Can you imagine running your men up to, for example, the 28th floor, then someone from the building opposite takes a potshot at you? What are you going to do? Run your men down 27 flights of stairs, cross the street and up another unknown number of stairs? He'll be long gone by then and you're left with dead tired men. More likely than not, you'll just respond with deterring fire, maybe 40mm grenades or a LAW then let him run away if he's still alive because you simply can't get to him. Now repeat this throughout an entire city. Even if casualties are minimal, the harassment is enough to drive people nuts.

One other point of note is that while a lot of people say "just artillery the island", it's not that simple. The reason being the same buildings that can cause an infantry headache can also cause an artillery headache. I had a university friend who was involved in an "Airfield Protection Exercise" decades ago and he mentioned that he encountered a very big problem siteing a 120mm mortar. The buildings surrounding the airfield, while relatively low compared to the rest of the island, were still tall enough to seriously impede artillery trajectories and this is from the defender's side where being closer actually makes it "easier" to shoot between the buildings. Now try that from 200km away. It'll be like trying to hit a target between picket fences when the fence can actually stop your bullets. The common counter to this is to bring your artillery a lot closer so that you can lob rounds "over" the intervening terrain but the side effect to this is that artillery so used is in no way even close to their maximum range, you have to get a lot closer just to get a good shot. Now this is only in regards to an airfield, if an infantry company, for example, were to hide in the basements of even a 20 storey buiding, I have my severe doubts that any conventional form of artillery or air support can actually affect them, not without first bringing the whole building down.

Long story short, while it might be a "all or nothing" gamble to fight in Singapore itself, the location of the fight is a real mess and a terrible headache for any invader and should be considered as a possible option provided that supplies can last long enough. If I recall correctly, the paradigm for FIBUA (fighting in built up areas) is 5 men for every one defender, and Singapore can mobilize close to a million men or more (especially if female volunteers join in) and the amount of infantry needed to take it becomes a mind boggling amount (and IMO, the paradigm is low since the formula was developed for small towns and cities and never had the nightmare of fighting in a megacity in mind).
Or if I was the aggressor and not concerned about collateral damage, as the Americans label it, radiation enhanced weapons combined with biological and chemical weapons attacks will solve most of that problem for me. Depends on how badly I want the city and its assets. Whilst this scenario is at the far end of the scale, never discount it, because it is always possible.

Whilst you focus on Malaysia and Indonesia as your main threats, there are other nations in the region who are also interested in controlling Singapore's strategic location and not all of them have Singapore's interests in mind.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
...IMO, there are 2 ways to defend Singapore beyond the geopolitics that have already been covered in great detail.
@0bserver, conceptually, there is a difference between defending Singapore and defending Singapore’s interests. In the continuum between the two, the SAF gives Singapore escalation options but not in the manner that many like 0bserver thinks.

Let us be clear. The only country that SAF can plan to conduct its forward defence when defending Singapore is Malaysia — and this forward defence option/strategy, will only be used if any of the 3 redlines is crossed. One of the three redlines is Malaysia acting unilaterally to cut off Singapore’s water supply from Johore — that is an act of war — as the water agreements are registered with the UN and form part of the Separation Agreement.

But before war occurs, there are escalation options available, in times of tension. Unless a religious theocracy rules Malaysia, there is:

(i) less than a 0.1% chance that the Malaysian Government will decide to unilaterally cut off its water supply to Singapore;​
(ii) less than a 1% chance that tensions between the two countries can result in a shooting at sea incident;​
(iii) a 2% to 5% chance that a ramming incident can occur at sea due to a miscalculation by Malaysia (in Feb 2019, there was collision between Malaysian vessel Polaris and Greek merchant ship Pireas); and​
(iv) a 100% chance that the Singapore Navy has to deter or encounter and stop pirates, smuggling syndicates and counter attempted maritime terrorism, in its daily patrols.​

It is the higher probability events that I am more interested in exploring.
Option 1: Forward defence, which is the commonly accepted option, where a buffer zone is created by "rushing" the SAF to secure a perimeter, either a land buffer for Malaysia,
It should be ‘...created by "rushing" the SAF to secure a land buffer for the security of Singapore, in Johore, in response to a Malaysian act of war’— there seems to be a mistake in 0bserver’s expression.

The investment in the Leopard 2SG and the Hunter fleet is crucial to retain credibility of the forward defence option. On 20 Apr 2020, ST Engineering said its Land Systems division also won a "Phase 2 contract" from the Singapore’s MINDEF to produce and supply an unspecified number of Hunter AFVs. The company said that under the Phase 2 contract, the value of which was not disclosed, ST Engineering will also provide integrated logistics support including spares, training, and documentation.
...or a sea buffer for Indonesia and using firepower to break up concentration of enemy troops as they become a threat (then offer to trade back the land for peace ala Israel and the Sinai, but that's a different story).
My apologies but this second part of the sentence reflects 0bserver’s sea blindness — it is important to use the correct framework to study an issue. The sea on the west of the Straits of Singapore contains a narrow 800+ kilometre SLOC that connects the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. But the Straits of Malacca is dominated by land (i.e. Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia), which means you need cooperation from these littoral states. Rather than thinking of the Straits of Singapore as a buffer, it is more accurate to think of the sea as a connector that Singapore has an interest in keeping open (in cooperation with FPDA powers, neutral littoral states or even friendly North East Asian powers like Japan).

With about 5,000 sailors, the navy is the smallest of the 3 services in the SAF but has a role play thousands of kilometres away from the main island. The First Flotilla has 12 vessels, comprising of 6 Formidable Class vessels and 6 Victory Class vessels. If Singapore has to secure its SLOCs, dispute them, or just as importantly exercise in them in the face of an enemy who will contest them, it is not planning to do it alone — as Singapore by itself lacks the naval resources to go alone in all these mission sets.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday (2 Mar 2020) during the Committee of Supply Debates, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that 4 Fearless class patrol vessels will be refurbished and pushed into service in support of the Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF). To be relevant the 12 vessel MSTF Flotilla, comprising of 8 LMVs and 4 refurbished Fearless Class vessels (and not the 1st Flotilla, to be used to secure Singapore’s SLOCs up to 1,000 km away), operating in the Singapore Straits, around Pedra Branca, and the near abroad, must have the ability to secure the littorals, dispute them, or just as importantly exercise in them in the face of an enemy who will contest them.

I will attempt to address the problems with 0bserver’s option 2 on another day.
 
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0bserver

New Member
@OPSSG

1- Wasn't the topic about "Defending Singapore ISLAND" and not "Defending Singapore's Interests"? It's even right there in the topic title.

2- Don't put in words in my mouth that I did not say, especially when you're being hell bent on nitpicking perceived "flaws" in other people's statements. Singapore retains the right of preemptive strike, even without an overt act of war by Malaysia, so massing forces along the border, even on Malaysian territory, while still legal and their right, will unfortunately also raise the tension level and the possibility of pre-emptive defence. This was the doctrine inherited from the Israelis and it's more or less an open secret.

Or if I was the aggressor and not concerned about collateral damage, as the Americans label it, radiation enhanced weapons combined with biological and chemical weapons attacks will solve most of that problem for me. Depends on how badly I want the city and its assets. Whilst this scenario is at the far end of the scale, never discount it, because it is always possible.

Whilst you focus on Malaysia and Indonesia as your main threats, there are other nations in the region who are also interested in controlling Singapore's strategic location and not all of them have Singapore's interests in mind.
It's very rare that someone from a different country has the interests of another country in the forefront of their considerations, so that's pretty much a given. As for WMDs, if the playing field reaches that level, you're kind of screwed anyway because it would also mean that not only has WWIII kicked off, it has already heated up to the stage where people are tossing nukes and chemical warheads. Other than a mass evacuation of the country, I don't see how defending against nukes and VX is going to be a viable solution.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
No insult intended OPSSG, but you might have hit a TL; DR/wall of text limit that might be more turn offing than edifying. Might want to summarise the text.

On a more relevant topic to the original, IMO, there are 2 ways to defend Singapore beyond the geopolitics that have already been covered in great detail.

Option 1: Forward defence, which is the commonly accepted option, where a buffer zone is created by "rushing" the SAF to secure a perimeter, either a land buffer for Malaysia, or a sea buffer for Indonesia and using firepower to break up concentration of enemy troops as they become a threat (then offer to trade back the land for peace ala Israel and the Sinai, but that's a different story).

Option 2: Fortify Singapore itself. While this may not sound like a good option by common logic since any fighting in Singapore damages Singapore's infrastructure, there are actually a lot of points going for a fortified defence, one of which is the utter headache that trying to take such an area would cause. Singapore is for all intents and purposes, a megacity and for those not familiar with it, buildings of 30 to 40 stories tall are common and in all honesty, if you gave me a company of men and told me to clear one of those 40 storey buildings, it's a quick way to ruin my day. Can you imagine running your men up to, for example, the 28th floor, then someone from the building opposite takes a potshot at you? What are you going to do? Run your men down 27 flights of stairs, cross the street and up another unknown number of stairs? He'll be long gone by then and you're left with dead tired men. More likely than not, you'll just respond with deterring fire, maybe 40mm grenades or a LAW then let him run away if he's still alive because you simply can't get to him. Now repeat this throughout an entire city. Even if casualties are minimal, the harassment is enough to drive people nuts.

One other point of note is that while a lot of people say "just artillery the island", it's not that simple. The reason being the same buildings that can cause an infantry headache can also cause an artillery headache. I had a university friend who was involved in an "Airfield Protection Exercise" decades ago and he mentioned that he encountered a very big problem siteing a 120mm mortar. The buildings surrounding the airfield, while relatively low compared to the rest of the island, were still tall enough to seriously impede artillery trajectories and this is from the defender's side where being closer actually makes it "easier" to shoot between the buildings. Now try that from 200km away. It'll be like trying to hit a target between picket fences when the fence can actually stop your bullets. The common counter to this is to bring your artillery a lot closer so that you can lob rounds "over" the intervening terrain but the side effect to this is that artillery so used is in no way even close to their maximum range, you have to get a lot closer just to get a good shot. Now this is only in regards to an airfield, if an infantry company, for example, were to hide in the basements of even a 20 storey buiding, I have my severe doubts that any conventional form of artillery or air support can actually affect them, not without first bringing the whole building down.

Long story short, while it might be a "all or nothing" gamble to fight in Singapore itself, the location of the fight is a real mess and a terrible headache for any invader and should be considered as a possible option provided that supplies can last long enough. If I recall correctly, the paradigm for FIBUA (fighting in built up areas) is 5 men for every one defender, and Singapore can mobilize close to a million men or more (especially if female volunteers join in) and the amount of infantry needed to take it becomes a mind boggling amount (and IMO, the paradigm is low since the formula was developed for small towns and cities and never had the nightmare of fighting in a megacity in mind).
If the thread title is, "the best strategy to defending Singapore Island," then either I am not understanding the position you are taking, or you have already made a number of assumptions about both the capabilities of the hostile invading force and just as important, their intent.

At this point I also feel that it should be pointed out that there also appears to be a perception problem with your position which is not unlike a recurring issue for decision makers in New Zealand and that perception problem is that unless something is a direct threat of invasion/hostile boots on the ground, issues which are in a nation's interests are not defence issues. If another nation wanted to force Singapore's cooperation on an issue, and was willing to use force to do so, there are other areas where force could be applied other than direct attacks upon Singapore.

Now from my perspective, engaging in building-to-building, block by block fighting within Singapore is tactic of last resort and not something which should be looked at as any sort of primary set of responses. Unless the hostile force is both extremely capable and careful, there is going to be significant collateral damage to both infrastructure and the civilian population, the city-state is just too densely populated and developed for it to be otherwise with that kind of fighting. Further, the kind of fighting you mentioned in your scenario does seem to require the hostile force to want to capture the buildings and infrastructure as well as the civilian population intact. However, it does seem to overlook the very real possibility a hostile force might only be interested in capturing a few key points intact. In such a case, a Singaporean infantry unit taking cover within an office or apartment building might just lead to that and other buildings being targeted with airstrikes and/or artillery barrages to compromise or level the buildings. After all, why bother wasting time and personnel clearing a 20 story building that contained Singaporean troops if the important objective is something else like the airport, or a strategic bridge, fuel depot and tank farm, etc. If it is otherwise of no importance, I would either bypass it or damage/destroy such a structure to deny it's use to defenders.
 

0bserver

New Member
In such a case, a Singaporean infantry unit taking cover within an office or apartment building might just lead to that and other buildings being targeted with airstrikes and/or artillery barrages to compromise or level the buildings.
This is part of the error I was trying to address. People tend to assume that when hit by artillery or when you just lob a round at a target, the target just vanishes but that is a wrong perception. Concrete buildings are notoriously difficult to destroy, even with 155mm or 227mm. They don't just vanish, the wreckage is still persistant and becomes incredibly annoying cover to dislodge people from, similar to what happens in Monte Cassino during WWII. This is also to address comments that say "Oh once we bring in artillery into (maximum) range, it's all over!!" which totally ignores the fact that intervening terrain generates a "blind spot" behind it (for example, trying to shoot a target behind a building requires you to lob the round high up and have it come almost straight down to get into the blind spot), massively reducing the range a gun/rocket can standoff from.

I'm not addressing the defence needs in terms of politics, that is a different field that requires reams of pages to describe, but in terms of simple PHYSICS that "just bomb Singapore" is something that is more easily said than done. Or to be more precise, EFFECTIVE bombing and shelling is easier said than done, you can easily toss rounds into the facade of buildings but getting them to hit something important is a different story.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
This is part of the error I was trying to address. People tend to assume that when hit by artillery or when you just lob a round at a target, the target just vanishes but that is a wrong perception. Concrete buildings are notoriously difficult to destroy, even with 155mm or 227mm. They don't just vanish, the wreckage is still persistant and becomes incredibly annoying cover to dislodge people from, similar to what happens in Monte Cassino during WWII. This is also to address comments that say "Oh once we bring in artillery into (maximum) range, it's all over!!" which totally ignores the fact that intervening terrain generates a "blind spot" behind it (for example, trying to shoot a target behind a building requires you to lob the round high up and have it come almost straight down to get into the blind spot), massively reducing the range a gun/rocket can standoff from.

I'm not addressing the defence needs in terms of politics, that is a different field that requires reams of pages to describe, but in terms of simple PHYSICS that "just bomb Singapore" is something that is more easily said than done. Or to be more precise, EFFECTIVE bombing and shelling is easier said than done, you can easily toss rounds into the facade of buildings but getting them to hit something important is a different story.
Planning a defence for any country is not one dimensional. It's multidimensional and is geostrategic and strategic. You are looking at things on the macro, meso and micro scales simultaneously. They all inform each other, but that's just one part of it. There is also the geopolitical and domestic political dimension, plus the economic dimension to consider. You have to determine and define what your national strategic assets are and how you will defend them. At the same time you have to define what your area of national strategic interest is and how you will operate in it and defend it.

Lobbing shells of any calibre into high rise buildings in Singapore is a rather spurious question and ignores the reality of the defence of Singapore. OPSSG and others have been attempting to explain this too you. We are quite happy to help people learn, but if they are going to be stubborn and not be willing to learn then we won't bother wasting our time because we all have better things to do.

I SUGGEST THAT YOU TAKE NOTE OF WHAT OPSSG AND OTHER POSTERS ARE EXPLAINING TO YOU. THIS IS HOW YOU LEARN .
 

0bserver

New Member
We are quite happy to help people learn, but if they are going to be stubborn and not be willing to learn then we won't bother wasting our time because we all have better things to do.
I so totally agree. Pity some people are not interested in the mechanics of the issue and seem to only focus on the politics. Guess I'm off to do better things.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
This is part of the error I was trying to address. People tend to assume that when hit by artillery or when you just lob a round at a target, the target just vanishes but that is a wrong perception. Concrete buildings are notoriously difficult to destroy, even with 155mm or 227mm. They don't just vanish, the wreckage is still persistant and becomes incredibly annoying cover to dislodge people from, similar to what happens in Monte Cassino during WWII. This is also to address comments that say "Oh once we bring in artillery into (maximum) range, it's all over!!" which totally ignores the fact that intervening terrain generates a "blind spot" behind it (for example, trying to shoot a target behind a building requires you to lob the round high up and have it come almost straight down to get into the blind spot), massively reducing the range a gun/rocket can standoff from.

I'm not addressing the defence needs in terms of politics, that is a different field that requires reams of pages to describe, but in terms of simple PHYSICS that "just bomb Singapore" is something that is more easily said than done. Or to be more precise, EFFECTIVE bombing and shelling is easier said than done, you can easily toss rounds into the facade of buildings but getting them to hit something important is a different story.
I would suggest that you do a bit of research on what happens to people inside a concrete/steel structure that gets damaged sufficiently to cause structural compromise or even structural collapse. Or even consider looking into the topic USAR or Urban Search and Rescue. The quick answer to it is that they tend to either get killed outright, injured, entrapped, or a combination thereof.

Yes, the ruins and rubble of a concrete and steel building could indeed provide some cover to forces which take shelter, but those ruins and rubble also can on it's own shift and injure, kill, or entrap personnel.

All of this is also ignoring any concerns for civilians who would normally be occupying such a structure and what would happen to them if the attacking force was not concerned with collateral damage or civilian casualties.

As a side note, there is an enormous difference in the effects of a single artillery round vs. artillery barrages and/or airstrikes, both of which consist of multiple rounds of ordnance hitting. Look at some of the imagines of Grozny to get an idea of what the cityscape of Singapore might start to look like if the defending strategy was to permit hostiles to close with Singapore proper, and then having defending forces take shelter and engage those hostiles from buildings.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
I so totally agree. Pity some people are not interested in the mechanics of the issue and seem to only focus on the politics. Guess I'm off to do better things.
THERE'S NO NEED TO BE SULKY AND SNARKY ABOUT MODERATORS DOESN'T WIN YOU ANY MATES. NONE OF THE REPLIES TO YOU WERE ABOUT POLITICS. IF YOU THINK THAT THEN YOU NEED TO REEVALUATE YOUR DEFINITION OF POLITICS.

SINCE YOU APPEAR TO BE RATHER FIXATED WE CAN ARRANGE FOR YOU TO HAVE A HOLIDAY FROM HERE. YOU ARE STARTING TO EXUDE THE SMELL OF A TROLL. WE HAVE NO TIME FOR TROLLS HERE. IT'S UP TO YOU TO PROVE TO US WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE WORTHWHILE FOR US TO CONTINUE INVESTING TIME IN YOU.

CHOOSE CAREFULLY YOUR RESPONSE BECAUSE THAT WILL DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE ON HERE.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
If the thread title is, "the best strategy to defending Singapore Island," then either I am not understanding the position you are taking...
@Todjaeger, thanks for your comprehensive responses in multiple replies that is much more effective than mine.
At this point I also feel that it should be pointed out that there also appears to be a perception problem with your position which is not unlike a recurring issue for decision makers in New Zealand and that perception problem is that unless something is a direct threat of invasion/hostile boots on the ground, issues which are in a nation's interests are not defence issues. If another nation wanted to force Singapore's cooperation on an issue, and was willing to use force to do so, there are other areas where force could be applied other than direct attacks upon Singapore.
I really did not understand the objective of 0bserver’s post. As you explained, protecting Singapore’s interests is also part of defending Singapore.
0bserver said:
Option 2: Fortify Singapore itself. While this may not sound like a good option by common logic since any fighting in Singapore damages Singapore's infrastructure, there are actually a lot of points going for a fortified defence, one of which is the utter headache that trying to take such an area would cause.
Sorry but I am clueless about intent of the post by 0bserver.

Q1: Was 0bserver saying that Singapore should elect option 2?​

Ans to Q1: Of course you can sterilise parts of a city and covert it into a fortified objective. But is it wise to sit back and take punches via fortification? If option 2 is choice, then Singapore would not need such a capable air force or continue to grow the navy’s capabilities

I agree that when a building has collapsed you get rubble that can serve as cover. But why would the conscript platoons deploy and sit in rubble in Singapore as part of option 2? In actual fact, the ECA will determine the Ops deployment plan.

Notionally, shouldn’t the SAF take the fight to the enemy and fight in their housing estates and convert enemy homes into rubble? This works best if the SAF’s rules of engagement is impressively capable of carnage (and it is not*). We can adopt an unrealistic view and think that the focus is thus on kill, and destroy. If the enemy is indiscriminately shooting artillery at a city (without targeting clearance from the division strike centre), he obviously does not care if a building has collapsed. But that would neglect how terrifying it would be for an army to have such loose rules of engagement, where the intent is to commingle with and attack civilians in a battlespace.
*Fyi, the SAF in its deployments into Iraq and Afghanistan have restrictive rules of engagement.
Q2: How realistic are the war games when applied in the projected area of operations (AO)?​

Ans to Q2: Large scale war games like Exercise Ulysses is played without the presence of the million-plus civilians in the AO and the thousands of vehicles that could conceivably choke off highways. In large scale exercises, we try by having a handful of soldiers play civilians but it is not that realistic. Excise Forging Sabre is impressive not because of amount of the munitions used. The more interesting aspect of this war game is the mix the synthetic and the real to simulate what-if situations, supported by AI, to a frightening level of detail and realism, giving division Ops planners the thought-drivers they need.
0bserver said:
Singapore is for all intents and purposes, a megacity... if you gave me a company of men and told me to clear one of those 40 storey buildings, it's a quick way to ruin my day. Can you imagine running your men up to, for example, the 28th floor, then someone from the building opposite takes a potshot at you? What are you going to do? Run your men down 27 flights of stairs, cross the street and up another unknown number of stairs?
If someone shoots at you, take cover or shoot back or call for support from your M110 equipped Company Marksmen Team, who have attended a 2 week course at the Sniper Wing (to suppress the enemy or provide counter sniping support). But a city/urban fight also means to section and cordon off parts in each Brigade sector and thereafter to defeat localised enemy in detail. The building of SAFTI city is to enable the deployment of a brigade to train there. Two additional points to note:

One, Singapore is not a mega city. A megacity is a very large city, typically with a population of more than 10 million people​
Two, the building of underground bunkers and bomb shelters is about resilience to attack.​

There is no attempt to create a fort because that is not the plan to defend Singapore. Using a decision-making model based on PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal) analysis, AHP (Analytical Hierarchical Process), and game theory, it would be clear that fortification is not a viable strategy for Singapore.

Likewise, the Malaysians themselves have a published master’s level game theory thesis for the 2013 Lahad Datu conflict, wherein foreign intruders occupied a village. The Malaysian government, ultimately, launched a military operation to clear the area. The focus of their study is the decision-making processes of the two rational actors in this case—the Malaysian Prime Minister and the Sultan of Sulu. Game theory and AHP provided structured framework for investigation, particularly in subjective assessment. Each player is assessed by a particular set of criteria independent from the other’s criteria. To support these tools, and they analyzed available literature to formulate PESTEL attributes, which could affect both parties’ payoffs in the construct. The combined application of these tools—PESTEL analysis, AHP, and game theory—demonstrates how they mitigate each other’s weaknesses. The utility of this model is twofold:
(1) it makes the analysis of decisions taken in the past more insightful; and​
(2) it provides a framework for choosing the optimal course of action when making a decision.​

Now from my perspective, engaging in building-to-building, block by block fighting within Singapore is tactic of last resort and not something which should be looked at as any sort of primary set of responses.
Agreed.

In most cases, an army would want to let civilians evacuate the battlespace. And provide aid through civil military relations battalions for such displaced persons (and I know the CO of a SAF civil military relations battalion). As David Boey had shared in 2014:
“It is reassuring to nurse the opinion that Civil Military Relations (CMR) have matured in the SAF to such an extent that a number of battalions which is not small have been earmarked for dedicated CMR duty. Remember that every battalion that performs CMR is one battalion less on the front line. And this calculus illustrates how seriously the SAF views the issue of non-combatants in an AO.​
...​
Indeed, one Malaysian military professional has indicated to this blog that the population in Johor will not be evacuated... but left in place as a strategic burden.. In peace and war, civilians in Johor will need food and water, power for their homes and offices and a sewer system that works... In addition to all this, civilians in war will need some sense when the madness will subside. If the occupying force cannot provide the succour Johor residents will need, you can bet your last dollar that civil disorder will break out.”​
 
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CheeZe

Active Member
On a silly note, the infamous Russian hand puppet commissar has made a video on a hypothetical Malaysia vs. Singapore.

Here it is so you can all have a laugh.

It seems really unrealistic and overly simplistic. The comments are, well, YouTube comments. But if I'm wrong in my judgment, do let me know and why!
 
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