Welcome to DefenceTalk.com Forum!

By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The best strategy to defending Singapore Island

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

Share This Page

  1. riksavage

    riksavage Banned Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Singapore
    One of the critical chinks in Singapore's defensive chain-mail is NOT a military one, but one of sustainability. Singapore has ZERO ability to grow or produce enough food to feed it's population (simply no arable land available), it relies totally on external exports. Rice, dairy, meat, cereals all have to be imported by ship or transferred across the causeway from Malaysia.

    If, say for arguments sake, Malaysia closed the causeway and threatened to mine the approaches to Singapore then, strong military or not, the country would face tough times. The 900, 000 odd expats would leave for one, which would have a massive impact upon the economy. Singapore's fiscal reserves are extremely robust and will be able to provide a buffer to any financial crunch, however the population can't eat money!

    Singapore's only choice under the circumstances would be to move North and seize land for agricultural production, and / or expand it's MCM/ASW capabilities to the point where it can guarantee clear sea-lanes.
     
  2. ReAl PrOeLiTeZ

    ReAl PrOeLiTeZ New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    im pretty sure everything yes i mean everything is imported reliant, they cannot self sustain their own country. just to give people some insight
     
  3. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,685
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Singapore
    I am aware that FutureTank is banned but I think it is necessary to address some of the issues presented by his post and the posts by riksavage and ReAl PrOeLiTeZ as they contain some related issues.

    Good question and I'll have a go at answering one aspect.

    Currently, there is a possibility of a troubled peace with our immediate neighbours. This includes the possibility of some state and non-state actors not honouring signed agreements (and they have their stated willingness or intent to do so) so as to introduce sudden disruption to the economy of Singapore.

    In fairness, Malaysia has NEVER cut off water supply to Singapore (the two water agreements expires in 2011 and in 2061, respectively). However, during times of tension, or domestic political upheaval in Malaysia, often there would be calls by local Malaysian politicians to cut off the water supply in violation of international law. In fact, Singapore gets blamed for very imaginative things by Malaysian politicians including floods in Malaysia (which I would believe is caused by weather patterns :rolleyes: !?).

    Indonesia also suddenly cut-off the supply of sand to Singapore in Feb 2007. This was recognized as having an adverse economic impact on Singapore and we have since found other sources of sand supply. Of significance however, was the need for us to draw down our stockpile of sand (which I must admit I did not know we had, prior to the dispute). Further, in May 2008, the Regional Indonesian Assembly of Batam threatened to block ConocoPhilips' ability to supply natural gas to Singapore (under a 20 year long term sales contract), as the some gas supplied to Singapore passes through Batam via the Grissik-Batam-Singapore Pipeline (as Batam at that time was suffering from alternate power cuts and who can blame them for being upset). BTW ConocoPhilips earns more revenue by selling natural gas to Singapore, as we buy at a higher price. Batam on the other hand buys at lower prices and are also not committed to a long term contract.

    While the disputes with the Indonesian navy (over the sand and granite issues) and their local authorities (over natural gas supplies for power generation) are not immediate causes for war, they are potentially disruptive to Singapore's economy.

    OTOH, you could also argue that given the more interdependent nature of the economies of the 3 above mentioned countries, there is less incentive to go to war. Over the last 40 years, intra-ASEAN trade has grown, enriching our peoples, which has helped set the stage for the possibility of greater geo-strategic stability. The current problem is more related to the uneven distribution of wealth.

    Obviously not an informed response on prior postings in this thread. Please see posts #81 (Ans to 5 Qns on SG defence) and #88 (SG was never a fortress). I really don't care to defend those posts but the above remarks indicate a failure to read the thread before commenting. :)

    As far as I know no city is totally self reliant on food and water supplies, so what you said is not surprising. However, it is well known that we do have food reserves stock piles for everyone in Singapore to cater for short term disruptions. Further, we have also attempted to diversify our various food supply source countries, as a risk management strategy.

    If there is a city model for us to examine on being self sufficient in food within city boundaries, please let me know. :)

    In fact, Singapore is also vulnerable to a sudden disruption of natural gas supply from Indonesia, as we do have long term contracts in place to buy natural gas from Indonesia via two pipelines via the West Natuna Transportation System and the previously mentioned Grissik-Batam-Singapore Pipeline.

    Your insight presented here was stated by riksavage and also in post #81. :)

    With the economic recession ahead, expatriates are being forced to leave Singapore as their companies downsize. So some expatriates are leaving as we speak and that is to be expected.

    Singapore's ability to respond with force on an act of aggression pre-disposes a regional challenge geared towards either an asymmetric or non-state action. Further, I am of the view that it is very, very unlikely that Malaysia would ever close the causeway and mine the approaches to Singapore, as an economic blockage of this sort would be seen as an unambiguous act of war by Singapore. More importantly, such acts are not in the interest of Malaysia (as we are mutually interdependent major trading partners). Further, other regional and extra-regional powers would immediately intervene.

    IMHO, I would not say that war is the ONLY choice, as we are really not interested in setting up a farming colony, particularly, if we can buy from alternate primary producing sources. :D

    @riksavage, what do you think? Have I got it wrong?

    We are working on acquiring better ASW capabilities but we cannot be self sufficient in MCM (as we have only 4 Bedok Class mine clearing ships). If SLOCs in this region is disrupted via mines, there would be an international mine sweeping effort...
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  4. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,685
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Singapore
    Red, have we double counted the 7 block-15 F-16s given to Thailand (we bought 8 but 1 crashed)?

    The block-15 were originally bought under Peace Carvin I. Please see the F-16.net link for a recount of the total RSAF F-16 numbers (I count a total of 62 planes in their table, of which 22 are F-16Cs but the source also states that Singapore has 70 F-16s).

    Peace Carvin II (Delivered 1998)
    F-16C Block 52 x8
    F-16D* Block 52 x10

    Lease & Buy (Delivered 1999)
    F-16C Block 52 x4
    F-16D Block 52 x8 (not sure if these have the extended spine)

    Peace Carvin III (Delivered 2000-2002)
    F-16C Block 52 x10
    F-16D* Block 52 x2

    Peace Carvin IV (Delivered 2003-2004)
    F-16D* Block 52 x20

    I previously emailed Greg, whom you cited for the numbers (about the double counting error but he has not done an update). Note that according to F-16.net the 10x Peace Carvin II F-16D*s, the 2x Peace Carvin III F-16D*s and the 20x Peace Carvin IV F-16D*s are equipped with the extended spine for the ECM-suite.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  5. Ananda

    Ananda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    177
    OPSSG, the lattest info that I see stated only halved of Sing F-16's operated from Singapore. Off course I realize why the other halved still stationed in US, however is it still cost effective under current circumstances (with economic crisis in hand)

    I know the DSA with us still in tough negotiations phase (again), however you already have with Thailand and Australia..why not just move those F-16 in US to Australia or Thai's ?
     
  6. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,685
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Singapore
    IMHO, cost is not the main concern. We need to ensure pilot quality via the best training money can buy. However, I don't think the number abroad is as high as suggested as a number of IOC squadrons have come home.

    The USAF provides us with specialist training facilities (like their instrumented ACM range and other specialist training opportunities, like Red flag, Green flag and Maple flag, not available in Asia or Australia). The USAF approach is very scientific in their approach to training. We try but can't really replicate the squadron training and benchmarking we get in the US (and we are measured by USAF standards there). Once our pilots and squadrons are trained (ie. get their IOC), they come home. We help the returning IOC squadrons retain the skills by practice, which is then done in Asia.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  7. Ananda

    Ananda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    177
    Ok..cause from the info that I saw, seems it's like Singapore will retain some of the F-16's squadrons in US longger than ussual training period.
     
  8. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,685
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Singapore
    We essentially operate a 'permanent' US training detachment via rotation of squadrons. There is always some RSAF pilots in the US and currently our F-15 pilots are training at Mountain Home airbase in Idaho. But individual squadrons do come home. So being a RSAF pilot means you have to spend sometime living in Australia to get your wings, then living in the US for pre-operational training before rotating to come home as a 'certified' operational pilot.

    Our training system is not unique and lots of other F-16 operator countries take advantage of the same training that comes with buying US aircraft (which is an extra). In fact, this is the main attraction of buying US planes, they can come with US training, if your country is willing to pay.

    We are very big on 'certification' and even army units need to turn 'operational' (or achieve IOC) by completing certain training milestones. Once we achieve IOC, we are also 'tested' and 'graded' on our respective unit performance in further training missions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2009
  9. Red

    Red New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not at all. I am fully aware that the A/Bs were donated to Thailand. Im talking about the leased C/D Block 52 jets for training. It is likely they were converted to buys like the rest.

    http://www.faqs.org/docs/air/avf163.html

    I have no information if the RSAF has exercised the option to buy the leased 12 jets. They are still under RSAF`s control at any rate(like Turkey for example) and it is likely the option has already been exercised after the A/Bs were transferred to Thailand. That is 74 F16 C/D Blk 52s in total. Last time I asked a RSAF dude, he mentioned something in the 70s as well and did not specify an exact number.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  10. Red

    Red New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    From where? I know that it is not true. :D Let`s just say the majority, if not all, are already in Singapore at this point of time. And I can only refer to the developments around Singapore in the past couple of years as far as this post is concerned.
     
  11. Red

    Red New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the Malaysians will find it very hard to close Singapore unless they do something about the SAF first.

    Secondly, Singapore is an economic and financial hub as previously mentioned. More than 75% of East Asian oil passes through Singapore. Further, Singapore is the 3rd largest oil refinery centre in the world. And not to mention the largest container port in the world. Who in the right mind wants to blockade Singapore with sea mines?
     
  12. Firn

    Firn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    19
    A good topic.

    First of all the question is: Cui bono? Who would profit from a war, who from a troubled peace and how would he be able to achieve his goals.
    The second question: Why? What are the possible rewards the political agents and forces hope to gain?
    The third question would be: How? What are the politcal, economical and military means at the disposal of the potential aggressors.

    Given that Singapore has a capable military, an interlocking system of alliances with important partners and is of great importances for the regional and interregional trade a direct military assault would seem foolish for all possible state actors surrounding it. Sadly often war are result of interwoven politics and seen as a way to achieve a relative advantage by persons or groups and has often the tendency to expand and engulf other factions and states.
     
  13. A.Mookerjee

    A.Mookerjee Banned Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0
    For Singapore, a strong Air Force and Navy, are essential, since it is an island nation. However, the army will be the last resort, for defense, since the air force and navy, have assets, which are not easy to replace, if they have to be replaced. All the three arms of the military must be developed to the maximum capability. I believe, that the sea around Singapore is essential to control. A large scale paratroop drop by the enemy, also cannot be ruled out, if the sea route is difficult to approach. A reasonable way, in times of war, to defend Singapore, would be to make the waters around her hazardous to navigate. When the enemy ships are then trying to navigate, they will be perhaps, easy targets for artillery and missiles. Since Singapore is a small city nation, she cannot have a large air force, or navy. Hence, she should arm herself with a large number of anti ship and anti air missiles.
     
  14. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,685
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Singapore
    Fundamentally, A.Mookerjee you have misunderstood Singapore's defence posture and our desire to protect SLOCs. I would like to direct you to my prior post partially quoted below:

    In geo-strategic terms, Singapore sits on a martime choke point and has the ability (but not the desire) to engage in selective sea denial without the use of sea mines. Our interest is to keep SLOCs open. That is why we are seen as a maritime protector and have the support of the USN and Australia in our military modernization efforts.

    Sorry, A.Mookerjee, your post is not an accurate reflection of current reality. Perhaps you should read up my review of the book: Defending the Lion City ;) Please accept my apologies for pointing out that you have posted a comment without understanding what was previously posted in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  15. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,685
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Singapore
    In fact, compared to any other ASEAN country, Singapore's air force is No. 1 in size and capability by a very, very large margin (with at least 60 block 52 F-16s, 24 F-15SGs on order with the largest stockpile of A2A missiles in ASEAN). Beyond numbers, the RSAF has invested in force multipliers like Maritime Patrol Aircraft, KC-135 tankers and AWACS. Please note that we have been operating AWACS with a multi-layer IADS for over 20 years. So we are considered by some to be a mature small to medium air power.

    We also have the most capable and the most modern navy in ASEAN (with the largest stockpile of anti-shipping missiles in ASEAN). The RSN currently operates 4 Challenger class submarines and are awaiting the arrival of 2 more AIP equipped submarines.

    I am reluctantly repeating facts posted about the RSAF and the RSN in other threads, as you seen to be unaware of them. However, size of the RSAF and the size of the RSN are small potatoes when compared to any other Northeast Asian power like China, Japan or S. Korea.

    While Singapore has a mainly conscript army, when mobilized, the SAF is is actually larger than Malaysia's army. Our army is also more mechanized than any other ASEAN country in that we have at least 3 modern combined arms divisions (we operate 2nd hand Leopard 2 tanks, make a range of our own IFVs and APCs) and a rapid deployment division. I have provided an animated link for our idea of an Integrated Strike Operation.

    (i) Fortunately for Malaysia (our immediate neighbour), Singapore is happy to go about trying to make money in our capitalist economy. This is because, if the SAF is fully mobilized (all Singaporean men under the age of 40), our economy will slowly grind to a halt in a few weeks.

    (ii) Keep in mind, we have a tiny population of approximately 4+ million. In physical size and in population terms, Singapore is much less than half the size of Jakarta or Bangkok.​

    I'll come back to Firn's tough questions in another post (when I find some time) as I believe the answers would flow better in this sequence.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
  16. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,685
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Singapore
    The promotion of war or the idea of potential conflict by politicians or generals all over the world (to unite a country under the banner of nationalism or some other rhetoric) against an imagined or real enemy is almost as old as politics itself. This sort of idea is not unique to maritime South East Asia. In fact, the regimes in countries like N. Korea and Iran like to promote the idea of ongoing conflict to justify the current regime's hold on power. IMHO, the ability to gain or stay in power is good enough reason for irresponsible politicians to promote conflict.

    Eg. 1 - Promotion of Nationalism: What did Argentina gain from invading the Falklands Islands in 1982? The military junta certainly gained from a nationalistic fever from their initially successful invasion (until they were subsequently defeated in battle). The initial invasion was considered by Argentina as the re-occupation of its own territory, and by the UK as an invasion of a British overseas territory. And more importantly what did UK gain from re-invading and talking back the Falklands Islands? The political effects of the war were strong in both countries and the government of PM Margaret Thatcher was bolstered by the victory. The recapture of the Falkland Islands from Argentina in 1982 coincided with an improvement in the public standing of Thatcher and her government. The victory seemed to vindicate her claims in domestic politics that she could provide strong leadership and stand up for the nation. The war rhetoric was later turned against the trade unions.

    Eg. 2 - Recent Regional Event: What did Indonesia gain from invading East Timor, when East Timor declared itself independent from Portugal on 28 November 1975? During the subsequent 24-year occupation a campaign of pacification ensued. Between 1974 and 1999, there were an estimated 102,800 conflict-related deaths (approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 'excess' deaths from hunger and illness), the majority of which occurred during the Indonesian occupation. I have provided some US document links if you are interested. Why was the Australian led International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) deployed in 1999 (after East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia)? There is an interesting article on 'Australia’s East Timor Experience: Military Lessons and Security Dilemmas' by James Cotton. In particular, what was the role of the TNI in East Timor during the INTERFET deployment (as described by James Cotton)? Was there the danger of a shooting war between TNI and the Australian led INTERFET? Kindly also see an Australian link for a different perspective.

    Eg. 3 - Conflict triggered by Decolonization: Between 1962–1966, there was a period of Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation over the future of the island of Borneo. It is called Konfrontasi in Indonesian and Malay. As I previously posted, insurgent Indonesian commandos set off bombs at Orchard Road and at the former Ambassador Hotel in Singapore during the 'Konfrontasi'. IMHO, Indonesia-Singapore relations are much improved since that period. ​

    Specific to Singapore history, it is important to realise that Singapore was 1 of 14 constituent states in the then Malay Federation (till our separation on 9 August 1965). Today, the Malaysian Federation comprises of 13 constituent states and 3 federal territories. Keep in mind that the people living in Singapore in 1965 did not seek independence from Malaysia. Singapore was made an independent state by a decision/act of the then Malaysian Parliament to expel Singapore from the Federation. The Malaysian Parliament was then and is still controlled Barisan Nasional which is led by UMNO and their promotion of the 'Bumiputera policy' for Malaysia. The reasons behind this are complex and I do not wish to offend or pick a quarrel with other Malaysian forum members. Other then telling you that both the Singapore and the Malaysian armed forces have been mobilized during certain disputes, I remain silent on this issue. Perhaps you can do a little further research on the post-1965 Malaysian-Singapore disputes yourself.

    Conflict promoting agents always hope to gain political power. Often, if conflict promoting agents gain power, then many of these agents eventually hope to translate such power into wealth. Less questions are asked and debate is often limited in a time of war or a crisis.

    Please see the other prior posts on regional military capabilities. In particular, you can read the NBR Analysis (Vo. 14, No. 2, Aug 2003) titled 'Theater Security Cooperation in the U.S. Pacific Command: An Assessment and Projection' by Sheldon W. Simon.

    If you don't mind, I would clarify that Singapore is part of the non-aligned movement and thus technically not an US ally (as we have to take into consideration the feelings of our neighbours). IMHO, the presence and capability of the SAF deters aggression and we use it to assist our neighbours in the hope of gaining better karma with other countries in our region. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  17. Firn

    Firn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    19
    Really fine and enlightening posts.

    I read some time ago "On war" (or almost all of it) and found it quite brilliant and highly stimulating. It certainly helps to frame issues and problems in military and political affairs. The well known trinity captures the myriad ways of the basic interacting forces very well.

    Note the way "politics" is used in the broad german/continental way with encompasses differing anglo-saxon concepts. As you stated well it sometimes often difficult to explain why the specific war was fought for and who he evolved. Eg. 2 is a good example.

    As far as I can see Singapore tries to prevent regional escalation by

    a) a non-aligned military, political and economical cooperation with both "solid" and cooperation in differing forms with "difficult" partners.
    b) A solid military force with the capability to dominate/negate the vital sea lanes and airspace and to defeat immediate threads with rapidly mobilized and modern joint armed forces

    So while a war of attrition might be prove impossible to win against a determined and big local aggressor a) and b) raise the stakes quite high for him.

    BTW: To some extent one could compare the possible position of Singapore to Athen in the "Peloponnesian War". Potential blockages by sea and air would be nowadays perhaps a good deal more effective, given the needs of a modern industrial society.
     
  18. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    3,685
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Singapore
    Thank you for the link to Prof. Christopher Bassford's article on 'The Strange Persistence of Trinitarina Warfare' (or the interaction of three conceptual issues in Clausewitz's understanding of warfare).

    For those interested in 'On War' (link to early English translation provided), there are a number of different translations but translations often do not capture the richness of the original text. To appreciate Clausewitz, some understanding of translation issues is necessary. As a professor of strategy, Christopher Bassford provides us with an interesting but difficult to read article dealing with the interpretation of Clausewitz's work, which was originally written in German. The meaning of the word 'Politik' as used by Clausewitz and its most common English translations, politics and policy, are sometimes problematic. I make no further attempt to restate what Prof. Bassford wrote other than to direct readers to the original article.

    The idea of politik encompasses a richness that I am not able to fully convey (since I don't speak German). But, it is also clear to understand strategy, it is necessary to have at least the two conceptual tools of:
    (i) analysis - which is the ability to pulling things apart and putting them back together; and

    (ii) synthesis - which is the ability to use new combinations to find how apparently unrelated ideas and actions can be related to one another. ​
    For me, analysis and its handmaiden synthesis are conceptual tools (these conceptual tools are not used by Clausewitz, rather these tools are used by Col. Boyd in sketching out his ideas) to enable us to deal with the dialectical process by which Clausewitz's trinity can be understood in context. Hence, I took some time to lay fine and pedantic distinctions in my analysis of the events and politics in the region that can have an impact on Singapore's defence policies.

    I agree with your analysis that in any strategy for defending Singapore, we must embrace apparently contradictory notions (at least on the surface) - as we need to engage difficult partners and yet deter difficult partners at the same time. A sophisticated understanding of security strategy needs to deal with the idea of politik as it is used in the German tradition. A direct Anglo-Saxon translation of the concept will not suffice and lacks flavour. Let us see if our analysis here in this thread can lead to a synthesis of new ideas. :)

    Yes, Singapore's strategy of improving our military capabilities to respond across the spectrum have raised the stakes for any potential aggressor.

    Your reach back into history to the Peloponnesian War is certainly worthy of another post in response another time. As usual, it is a pleasure to read and respond to your posts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  19. Firn

    Firn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    19
    Personally I think that in Clauswitz struggles mightly the analytic mind of an experienced soldier and officer with a most turbulent and emotional past and present with an enlightened spririt who tries again and again to synthesize his thoughts, interpretations and impressions. The ideal of formal logic and cool rational reasoning of enlightened beings collides with the ever changing nature of the interaction of human emotions and the play of chance, probability, friction, fog of nature and our world. He tries to analyse the elements and their nature but is forced to point out that it cannot be thougth without the holistic whole of the myrid phenomenon in mind.

    From a "post-modern" point of view he is unable to satisfy the rigour of analytical philosophy or modern scientific methology and ends up with a work in which is far from scientific in a modern sense. While he tries to argue with precise wordings and clear deductions founded on the analyisis of War he also always tries to confront/influence/supplement it with his interpretation and experience of war and its actors. So in the he is more or less satisfied with the major conlusions and reasonings of his work but would like to finish and polish the whole book. He will die before he can do so.

    I will continue later and trie to frame with my interpretation of his work the strategic situation of Singapore.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  20. Firn

    Firn Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    665
    Likes Received:
    19
    Given the inherent complexity of the geopolitical landscape of SE-Asia this can only be very limited, very sketchy and perishable interpretation of what a effective grand strategy of Singapore might look like.

    The key characteristics of Singapore are:

    - wealthy, indipendent city-state with a population of roughly 4 mill. citizien
    - heavily urbanized tiny peninsular/island
    - key economic and financial hub of SE-Asia and of the international trade

    This inherent characterisitics combined with those of neighbouring nations shape the strategic dimensions of the state:

    a) a general lack of strategic depth, absolute and relative to its immediate neighbours
    b) an easily disruptable economy with immediate dire consequences
    c) a relative shallow pool of directly available manpower and ressources

    I will analyse the points one by one:

    a) The strategic depth is overall shallow but varies according to the origin and form of the threat considerably.

    (I) Against Malaysia the SD on land is very, very limited. The channel offers an excellent defensive line though. Every inch of Singapore's territory is in possible artillery and SAM reach. However even while Malaysia has far greater SD it's ability to supply ressources over land are very limited and depend on Thailand.

    Same goes for the SD of air and sea against the main peninsula, while it is good against the Malayisan part situated on the island. Malaysia is unable to sustain war with its domestic production and ressources expect food and water and trades over the sea. All this routes might be endangered by a superior navy and airforce.

    To be continued.

    BTW what do you think about the format