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The best strategy to defending Singapore Island

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

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  1. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    On the one hand, while the foreign ministers of both Malaysia and Singapore are theoretically meeting on 8 Jan 2019 to try to resolve the bilateral dispute, Johor Chief Minister Osman Sapian made a visit to the Pedoman to inflame the dispute over our port waters around Jurong. In fact, as many as five Malaysian government vessels have been seen in Singapore territorial waters, in the wake of the useless meeting between Singapore and Malaysia's foreign affairs ministers. Johor Chief Minister Osman also posted photos on Facebook showing his visit on board the vessel to demonstrate how stupid it is for the PAP government in Singapore to continue to work with the Malaysians.

    MFA Spokesperson's Comments in Response to Media Queries on the Postponement of the 14th Meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee for Iskandar Malaysia

    At some point in the future, a Singaporean or a Malaysian civilian vessel is going to bump into the other in the port waters around Jurong, but this should not affect the state-to-state relations of both countries. While regrettable to see the bilateral relationship frozen, I see no further need to waste more of our time talking to the Malaysian Government. Malaysia’s foreign ministry confirmed the postponement of the talks and said: “The reason for the postponement, as conveyed by Singapore vide a Diplomatic Note dated 11 January 2019 was due to the visit by YAB Dato’Osman Sapian, the Chief Minister of Johor to Johor Bahru port in Malaysian territorial waters on 9 January 2019.” The 4G leadership in government and citizens of Singapore must move forward with confidence to act in our country’s interests with a firm resolve.

    Singapore postpones annual meeting with Malaysia after Johor Menteri Besar visits vessel in Tuas waters

    Some Malaysian politicians in power are testing for resolve and think that they can win as hostile neighbours. Bersatu are mistaken to think that they can unify Malaysia by making enemies of their neighbours and their failure at governance must be shown up. 2019 is the start of a politically explosive year for Malaysia-Singapore relations. Yes, it isn’t going to be a year where everything suddenly changes in January to March. Instead, we’ll see many of the same problems we saw in 1991, and plenty of them will bleed into 2020 as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  2. Dook

    Dook New Member

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    Stay good friends with the US, UK, and Australia. Have your military leaders work out secret scenarios where you are invaded by Malaysia and find out what help those other friendly countries could give you and how quickly it would arrive. The US, UK, and Australia will likely help you if another country is the aggressor as long as it's not China. Have all healthy males between the ages of 18 and 50 in the military reserves.

    Singapore can be invaded very quickly with Malaysian tanks coming over the bridge and causeway or with Russian amphibious assault vehicles crossing the strait. You absolutely have to know the attack is coming. You should have video camera's on the bridge and causeway and monitor traffic constantly from a secure military headquarters. A sneak attack can wipe out most of your equipment before you mobilize. Always have a good portion of your forces on duty including at night and holidays.

    Focus on quality equipment, update your equipment often. Always have better equipment than your neighbors, especially tanks, submarines, and drones. Have a plan to quickly blow up the bridge to Malaysia and to somehow block the causeway. Artillery and mortar teams are likely to have very limited roles in an invasion unless you are willing to totally destroy the city so train and equip those troops the same as infantry.

    Singapore has 96 Leopard 2 tanks, so that is pretty good. Try to get depleted uranium penetrator rounds if you don't already have them. The Malaysian tanks are PT-91's with dynamic armor so explosive jet blasts won't penetrate unless you destroy enough of the packets, which would take a lot of hits, but those tanks have auto loaders which are much slower than a human loader.

    Consider replacing the Matador anti-tank rocket with LAWS and Javelins.

    Train all infantry in urban fighting, how to clear houses, in addition to the regular gear provide each soldier with night vision and a LAW. Develop sentry systems with day and night or infrared video camera's that have an M16 and one or two LAWS. Some of the sentry systems might have a grenade launchers and one or two LAWS. The sentry guns could be set up around the corner of a building and operated by a soldier who is hidden. Fight defensively as much as possible. Use Predator type drones with gun pods for long range offense against enemy aircraft/helicopters at their home airfields. If you can take out their aircraft while keeping yours you increase your chance of winning.

    Train the Apache helicopter pilots to land on navy ships and refuel/rearm quickly, day and at night with night vision. Train to do this with radio silence.

    Get 30 Stealth patrol boats, probably the Ghost boat design but right now they are aluminum skinned. They need 1" thick kevlar armor panels installed on the inside and they need a top turret with a .50 cal/grenade launcher like the US Marine AAV's. Also they need 2-4 harpoon missile tubes on the rear and an internal VLMS with 8, or more, hellfire missiles. The Ghost boat can carry 16 infantry so you can also use them to sneak troops behind the enemy positions.

    Use your amphibious transport docks, frigates, and corvettes to refuel/rearm attack helicopters and F-35's. Train to do this in daytime and at night without using radio's. Hide the ships out at sea and use submarines and stealth patrol boats to protect them.

    Get twenty F-35 jump jets and train them to take off from the navy ships and from secluded islands. They may overheat the decks so you might need to make some changes to the under deck. Maybe consider getting four LCAC's and build platforms on top that attack helicopters can land on to refuel/rearm out at sea.

    I would probably take one of the smaller islands and make it a very secure military base so that if someone wants to hit it they suffer a lot of damage. Have hidden underground fuel tanks, command center, food, weapons, and ammunition bunkers. Have a few tanks and significant air defense on the island. Russian air defense equipment is probably the cheapest and best for the money. On the island have stealth patrol boats with night vision, attack helicopters, Predator type drones, a few F-35's in protected hangars and have some decoy aircraft set up away from the real aircraft. You want to force them to hit that island base and make them pay heavily for it.

    Always have at least 4 aircraft on alert, pilots nearby, aircraft fueled and loaded with weapons, maybe two F-15's loaded with AMRAAM's and two F-16's with 500 lb bombs.

    Train, train, and train some more. Train just as hard at night fighting as day fighting. Give soldiers decent time off and treat the soldiers well with decent pay and benefits. Develop and sustain a good national feeling towards your military. A soldier who is defending his homeland from invasion will fight better than an invading soldier.
     
  3. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume 563/volume-563-I-8206-English.pdf

    In Parliament on Jan. 25, 2003, then foreign affairs minister S Jayakumar said:

    “In setting out the facts, I shall be releasing the correspondence between the leaders of both countries and the diplomatic exchanges. I will also circulate copies of the two Water Agreements of 1961 and 1962, plus a supplementary water agreement in 1990 relating to the building of the Linggiu dam on the Johor River and the purchase by Singapore of treated water in excess of the 250 million gallons per day (mgd) from this river. These are all documents for the record. I have been reluctant to release these documents despite misrepresentation of facts from the other side because we hoped for a win-win outcome. But I have to release them now because this hope is no longer realistic and so much misinformation on the water issue has been put out by Malaysia that needs to be rebutted by conclusive evidence. Despite repeated attempts to clear the air through various MFA Spokesman’s comments and Parliamentary statements by me in this House, Malaysian misrepresentations have not ceased. Recently, there has even been loose talk of war in some Malaysian circles. We therefore have no choice but to set the record straight by releasing these documents for people to judge for themselves the truth of the matter. These documents will clear the air for everyone, especially Singaporeans who travel to Malaysia, read their media and talk to their Malaysian friends. These documents are in two volumes which will be given to Members. Madam Deputy Speaker, I request that they be part of the official records of the House.”

    It is my hope Malaysia - Singapore do not return to the days of old again. But I am in favour of a firm push back - at regular intervals of our choosing.

    I don’t think you understand how mismatched a fight it would be for Malaysia. Singapore’s modern and combined arms army is more than 2.5 times bigger than the Malaysian Army before factoring in qualitative differences - in doctrine, equipment, mobility, force multipliers and fire support.



    Why would our tanks need depleted uranium rounds or blow up the bridge? Especially when we have significant overmatch - as an Army with multiple combined arms divisions, with motorised battalions equipped with our own 8x8 Terrex and supported by the Belrex combat support vehicle - each of these divisions are capable of forward defence. Singapore’s focus is not just on buying better weapons (which we have at every level of command, from battalion to division, in terms of TOE) but to have better training for our educated and motivated conscripts - as thinking soldiers. 3 generations of Singaporeans have served in the Singapore Army (and have been deployed to support UN missions peace support and peace enforcement missions, CTF 151, to Iraq and Afghanistan) - so we may have slightly better info than you on current and past Singaporean capabilities.



    We do not just have great Leopard 2SG TANKs, we work hard to ensure that the 170 tank crews have superior training (including company level live firing at NATO tank ranges in Germany using IIA4s). In other words, train as they would fight against enemy tank crews (and not just training for our army officers). Singapore’s tanks upgraded to the Leopard 2SG standard with the addition of an IBD Deisenroth Advanced Modular Armor Protection modular composite armor package, El-Op Commander Open Architecture Panoramic Sight and other improvements. Singapore also reportedly acquired Rheinmetall’s ADS active protection system for its Leopard 2 tanks. For the armour formation, what we don’t buy from abroad, we make (eg. Bionix and Bronoco). The Bronco was exported for use in Afghanistan by the British Army (as the Warthog). Singapore Army's next generation self-propelled (SP) artillery gun and improved all-terrain tracked carrier, designed and made by local weapons maker, Singapore Technologies. The new SP gun is likely to be a wheeled design with a 155mm and automatic projectile and charge loader mounted aft of an all-terrain chassis. The new tracked carrier is thought to be the Bronco 3 variant, which is an enlarged marque of the combat proven Warthog Bronco 2 design (the baseline Bronco used by the SAF is the Bronco 1).



    Our Chinook and Apache crews are US trained - regularly taking part in Red Flag and a host of other complex combined arms exercises in the US (like Ex Forging Sabre). These are complex division level exercises (for the division strike centre) integrating LRRPs (who are commanded by junior officers that are SF trained), F-15SGs, Apaches, artillery hunting radars, HIMARS and Herion 1 UAVS - to conduct 1 pass multiple moving target strikes.

    You may want to read the thread for some basic information?



    Not sure if you understand the difference between a Matador (a section weapon, 2 per section and superior to LAW) vs twin mounted Spike ATGMS (comparable to the Javelins) on light strike vehicles for a ATGM platoon, and its supporting assets when deployed as a block force for a battalion in defence. Your post does not demonstrate situational awareness provided by higher command intel or tactical competence (which I assume the Malaysians will have).

    The SAF has deployed in support of overseas operations or contingency operations (998 in Iraq, 492 in Afghanistan and so on), capable of forward defence and is well resourced (having the largest defence budget in SE Asia) viz a viz it’s regional peers, with the ability to not only make weapons but also have limited export success.
     
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  4. Dook

    Dook New Member

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    I may want to read the thread for some basic information? Right, Singapore is just so incredibly powerful and no one in the area can beat it.

    Singapore has the ability to make weapons? The Matador is okay for blowing holes in walls, not the best weapon for taking out a tank. If Singapore has the ability to make weapons why did they buy the Leopard tank from Germany and Apache helicopters and F-35's from the USA? Why didn't they just make their own?

    When they come, it's going to be a surprise at 2 am. Singapore is not going to be able to load their F-16's and F-15's with bombs and missiles in time. Do you know how long it takes to fully load out a fighter? All runways will be heavily damaged by F-18's in the first strike. All fighter aircraft and attack helicopters will be heavily damaged by enemy attack helicopters and drones and then helicopter landed troops will assault the military bases. Enemy tanks will be across the bridge and causeway in minutes to support the assault on the military bases. Enemy amphibious vehicles will come across the strait towards the airport and military airfield to support the helicopter troops. Pre-positioned artillery and enemy submarines will destroy ships in port. The reserves won't be able to get to their units in time.

    Singapore is more powerful than Malaysia but every country is succeptible to a sneak attack that destroys much of their equipment and their ability to respond, even the US.
     
  5. Preceptor

    Preceptor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I will re-iterate OPSSG's comment about re-reading this thread for some basic information, as well as seeking outside sources to find out what Singapore has, and where some of the assets and units are based, as well as why.

    Further, read for the Forum Rules before posting again, paying attention to #'s 4 and 27 specifically.

    The tone of the post I consider to rather insulting and a portion of the commentary is either made in ignorance, or is an attempt to troll others. While ignorance can be addressed by suggesting sources that people can read to educate themselves, trolling, or attempts to troll won't be tolerated.

    To suggest that Singapore should have indigenously built their own MBT's instead of purchasing Leopard II tanks from Germany is a prime example of either ignorance or trolling. While I don't know the location or size of the production facility in Germany used to produce the Leopard II, I would imagine that it's comparable to the US Lima Tank Plant in OH, USA which is about one square km in size. Given that both the population and land area of Singapore are significantly less than either Germany or the US, just being able to allocate sufficient area for a tank plant would be a problem. There's also the very real economic considerations regarding the benefits and cost for domestic production vs. importing from a place like Germany. France, Italy and the UK all had produced modern MBT's of comparable capability to the US M1 or German Leo II, yet the total numbers ordered for the Leclerc, Ariete and Challenger II combined work out to about half of the number of Leo II's built, which means the different manufacturers would've had (or did have) trouble breaking even developing and producing the MBT. With Singapore being so much smaller and also as a consequence needing fewer MBT's, those domestic vs. import costs would have tilted even further in favor of importing. This sort of situation applies to all sorts of defense industrial that have significant developmental costs or require large areas to produce and test, or both. It's also why a number of European aerospace defense projects have actually been multi-national consortiums, because this was how a large enough order book could be established to cover the developmental and production costs, while also enabling the different nations that participated to keep elements of their defense industry involved and viable. With Singapore having just a fraction of the population, space and economy that Europe has, asking why Singapore imported specific defense vehicles and aircraft rather than building them domestically is either demonstrating a significant level of ignorance with respect to what resources are required to support the design and production of a capable vehicle, or the comment was made with the intent in provoking a response, which is trolling. I suspect the later.

    Lift up your game or you'll find your stay here a short one.
    -Preceptor
     
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  6. Dook

    Dook New Member

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    I'm betting my stay is very short. You're only shooting yourself in the foot.

    I read the posts in the thread. Here's a quick replay some of the absolutely incredible replies:

    2 - Singapore should strike first. Great answer, and the world would take the other countries side and assist them and the UN would condemn Singapore and the USN would never stop there again.

    3 - There is no best strategy because it's too complicated. So because you can't figure it out there is no answer.

    4 - No one would invade Singapore because everyone needs Singapore too much. Taking over a country allows you to control their port, their companies, and steal from the hard work of others.

    5 - To invade would require a formidable navy? Except there is a bridge and a causeway that tanks could cross in minutes and the Johor strait is not very wide so amphibious vehicles and helicopter borne troops can get across quickly.

    7 - The attack would be a seaborne invasion? Not if it comes from Malaysia it won't.

    8 - Again, why would anyone want to invade Singapore? That's not what the OP asked. And, maybe you should research history a bit?

    10 - The USN is in Singapore so no one would ever attack Singapore. 100 US sailors is not much of a deterent. MacArthur had 60,000 troops in the Philippines and he ran away after the Philippines President gave him $500,000 and he left the troops to the Bataan death march. Everyone thinks all the wars are over when they're not.

    11 - Details weapons that Singapore should get. I actually like that response, not the AIM-7 Sparrows or Hawks though. Do those even exist anymore?

    15 - Get ballistic missiles from China? You mean the ones that have an accuracy in miles, not feet, which makes them about useless as a military weapon except for use against large cities that we can't hit anymore unless we are Saddam Hussein?

    16 - This post has a tiny bit of merit.

    18 - Singapore has an air force unit in France so an attack won't take out all of Singapores military? Wow, and the air force guys in France are going to get back to Singapore to fight how exactly? Those must be some very long range aircraft with really big fuel tanks.

    19 - No one would attack Singapore without Malaysia or Indonesia getting involved. Unless Malaysia attacks. If China attacks I bet you ten bucks that Malaysia and Indonesia don't do a dam thing.

    It doesn't matter what kind of equipment you have if most of it gets destroyed in the first strike and almost every war and attack for the last 100 years has been a sneak attack: Japan attacking Russia, Germany invading France then Russia, Japan invading China, Japan attacking the US, Arab countries against Israel twice, Israel against the arab countries, Iraq against Iran, Iraq against Kuwait, ISIS attacks in Syria and Iraq, and constant arab terrorist attacks in the US and Europe, all sneak attacks.

    You guys think you are really something special in the world of strategy? Let me guess, half of you learned about strategy and weapons from playing video games and the other half of you were cooks in the Coast Guard? Right?
     
  7. Dook

    Dook New Member

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    You think it takes 1 sq km plant to produce Leopard tanks? You were a cook in the Coast Guard, right?

    You can build a tank in large home garage. If you need to mass produce hundreds or thousands of them, then the 1 sq km plant makes more sense and that plant can produce other vehicles after the tank production has ended. But you're sooo much smarter than I am Coastie.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  8. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    So what you are saying that if someone deployed an Army with 2-3 Hundred Tousand Troops, a couple of thousand Armoured Vehicles just across the Malaysian Border, Singapore would not notice. The 1st thing they would do is make that Causeway unpassable. Singapore is the largest most important Port in Asia if not the World. Every country in Asia understands this and if Singapore decided to invade Malaysia to take out that Army a number of Countries would not only support that decision but may even join in.
    100 US Personnel is not a deterent they are backed up by 1.5 million personnel and that is a deterent, only maniacs p*** of the Americans ask Saddam Hussain and Osama Bin Ladin.
    There is a huge difference between 1942 and today, the Militaries in SE Asia are fully independent, unlikely to be fighting a war in Europe and the Japanese had complete Air and Sea superiority in 1942. Singapore was doomed in 1942 but today it has one of the most powerful Militaries in SE Asia and a number of Allies that would step up to defend it.
    Using Australia as an example, 90% of our trade comes through the Port of Singapore cut that lifeline and you stuff Australia big time. Australia and Singapore have a close relationship and so does the US, we are very happy with the current Political set up in Singapore and we will oppose any change to a more hostile Regime, it is simply too Strategically important to Australia for us not to oppose any changes.
     
  9. Dook

    Dook New Member

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    You think they would deploy those troops on the border first so Singapore would have time to react? PT-91 tanks can drive 37 mph. If Malaysia attacked, they would probably have to sneak the tanks closer at night the day before, camouflage them, refuel them, then go the next night. Helicopters will be on target in half an hour, jets will be there in minutes. This is why I said that they have to know an attack is coming.

    The first thing Singapore would do is make the causeway impassable? Good. They should already have massive dragons teeth installed in the road that they can raise quickly if necessary. Do they have those? I didn't see any on satellite view. And the causeway is just one way, then there is the bridge and the narrow strait that any amphibious vehicle can get across easily.

    Singapore is the most important port in Asia? For countries that need Singapore to refine their oil for them but if Malaysia invades and reduces the price of refining oil then I'm not sure other countries would complain very much.

    Other countries would join in if Singapore attacked another country? I don't think we are even close to that point yet. Things have to get a lot worse before countries gang up on one in that area of the world.

    The US personel are in Singapore are backed up by 1.5 million US military? The US personel would likely not be harmed by any invading country. They would be free to go.

    There is a huge difference between 1942 and today? Right, weapons are more powerful.

    Allies would step in to defend Singapore? If they can hold out then allies would very likely assist. If they are completely overtaken quickly, like Kuwait, then we would probably go through another Persian Gulf War scenario with the UN resolutions and months of waiting until the aggressor leaves or is forced out.

    Australia depends on the port of Singapore? Whoever invades wouldn't close the port, they would keep it open and steal the profits.

    Who says the new regime would be hostile?
     
  10. Preceptor

    Preceptor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeed, your stay was rather short as your apparent inability to behave has demonstrated that this forum isn't the place for you.
    -Preceptor
     
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  11. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Perhaps it is just me, but I do not know of any home garage that has the facilities to lift and drop a ~16 ton turret like is found on the Leopard 2a4 into a tank hull.

    There would also be the issue of how long it would take a facility to build ~180 Leo 2 tanks if it was individually assembling each of them by hand.

    To provide some comparison, it took the former ADI (now part of Thales Australia) facility in Bendigo about two years from being awarded the Bushmaster IMV contract to deliver the first 300 Bushmaster IMV's to the Australian Army. Granted, some of that time would be taken up awaiting deliveries for long-lead items, but at the same time, a 15 tonne Bushmaster IMV would be much easier to handle than the turret of a Leo 2, never mind a completed Leo 2. That works out to ~2.5 days per Bushmaster, and in a dedicated large scale production facility.

    A belief that a facility like a home garage could do more than perhaps assemble components of a one-off tank is unrealistic IMO. Heck, home garages (in the US at least) have largely lost the ability to carry out major maintenance and repairs on civilian automobiles, simply due to the on-board computer and electronics and the fact that virtually all home garages lack the interfaces needed. A modern MBT has electronics at least as complicated with NVS, laser rangefinders, navigation and target acquisition systems, radios, etc.

    A WWII-era tank could possibly be built in a garage assuming the proper lifts and hoists or cranes were available, but such a tank would not be particularly useful on a modern battlefield.
     
  12. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Singapore’s foreign minister said: “Our approach to engaging Malaysia remains unchanged. We have upheld international law and respected the sanctity of international agreements. At the same time, we have been reasonable (and) constructive in trying to resolve issues in a win-win manner.” He added that “reasonable progress” has been made with regard to Singapore’s maritime dispute with Malaysia, which has been ongoing for almost five months after the latter unilaterally expanded the Johor Baru port limits into Singapore’s territorial waters.

    Beyond his basic lack of comprehension of geo-political risk factors (in scenario building), it’s a struggle to educate Dook, as his suggestions lack tactical awareness and he does not understand the limitation of force employment options by the Malaysians at choke points like the Woodsland or Tuas causeways. The employment of an anti-tank guided missile platoon (with top attack missiles), a forward observer team and relevant supporting infantry assets by Singapore would make any attempt to cross a suicide charge. Likewise an attempted ‘river’ crossing would not succeed with Singaporean UAVs and Apache’s providing armed overwatch.

    I would not assume that the MAF would be so predictable in an armed conflict - of trying to drive a few tanks across the causeway on a one-way suicide mission. In 1991, the Malaysians explored options in unconventional warfare against a superior Singapore Army and given that the maritime environment around Singapore faces security challenges such as terrorism, shipping of illegal arms, Weapons of Mass Destruction and persons, as well as piracy, their first act of war may not be a conventional attack. The seaborne terrorist attacks such as the 2008 Mumbai attack, where ten terrorists who arrived via boats killed more than 160 people, demonstrate the real possibility and grave consequences of terrorists infiltrating a country from the sea. In 2017, 2PDF Command set up the Island Defence Training Institute (IDTI) to address all Island Defence training requirements, deepen operational knowledge, improve linkages and interoperability with the Home Team agencies and enhance the effectiveness of training delivered to our Active and National Service (NS) units. For details see: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/data/pdfdoc/20170731001/Factsheet.pdf

    From 19 to 20 Feb 2019, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will conduct an islandwide counter-terrorism exercise as part of continuous efforts by the Home Team and the SAF to test and validate Singapore’s multi-agency response plan in the event of terrorist attacks. More than 900 personnel from the SPF’s Woodlands Division, Tanglin Division, Jurong Division, Special Operations Command, Gurkha Contingent, and the SAF’s Island Defence Task Force (IDTF), Special Operations Task Force (SOTF), and 38th Battalion, Singapore Combat Engineers (38 SCE), will participate in the exercise.

    Thanks for the reply, to help keep the thread keep on track.

    In addition to what you said, what Dook does not understand is that: At all times, there is a sizeable alert red standby force in Singapore on alert (with tiered readiness of follow on forces at higher echelon). Strategic surprise is not easy to achieve given Singapore’s intelligence capabilities.

    We do not like to reveal the actual response timing of alert and follow on forces but it is faster than he imagines. And not just alert forces for conventional defence either.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  13. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    :D
    What would anyone on here know, we are just Strategy Game playing Coast Guard Cooks‍:D
     
  14. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    he could not even spell his name properly. It is missing an r.
     
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  15. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    Well that was certainty entertaining, I just wish I had some popcorn ready when I read it a moment ago ;);)
     
  16. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    While I do question if Vivian Balakrishnan is the right man for the job (as Singapore’s Foreign Minister in troubled times), I do agree with him that foreign policy begins at home. As he said: “The strength of Singapore’s diplomacy depends on domestic unity and resilience, and the fact that we cannot be intimidated or bought. This is the foundation for our diplomacy even as we seek good relations with all our friends and neighbours within a rules-based international order. This is why Total Defence and our investment in the SAF are so important. Resilience includes improving our water supply infrastructure, namely NEWater and desalinated water, strengthening our food security by diversifying our food sources, and ensuring that we have a strong, diversified labour market. As a small state with limited resources, the quest for security and resilience has been a constant, relentless imperative for us since independence. It is not something that we look at only in times of unease. I am confident that we can continue to rely on strong bi-partisan support from this House, and the unity of purpose amongst all Singaporeans, as we strive to ensure that Singapore’s independence, territorial sovereignty, safety, security, and prosperity is secured for this generation and those to come.“
    Full Frame: Invincible : Singapore's Type 218SG Submarine

    Over a weekend after the tensions between Malaysia and Singapore rose, we mobilised all 5 fighter squadrons, we changed our naval force posture, we made significant announcements in new weapon procurement shortly after (eg. The Type 218SG launch, the F-35 test buy, and the revised plans for the proposed multi role combat vessel), along with the 2019 defence budget increase.

    Singapore to replace Victory-class missile corvettes with Multi-Role Combat Vessels | Jane's 360

    The degree of change in specifications for the multi role combat vessel is simply stunning, from my point of view. The radar is much more capable, and the increase in air warfare capability in terms of mission load is a step change from the original.
    Singapore is not going to just let KL believe that this act of parking their ship in our port waters is accepted - our Navy is properly resourced to be there everyday and making our presence felt. Singapore also pointed out that these actions threatened the safety of all seagoing vessels in what is a very busy shipping route. There is no acceptence of a fait accompli of Malaysian actions by Singapore.

    M’sian government vessel collides with another ship in S’pore waters

    Not only is the ICA ruling on Pedra Branca is in our favour, we are continuing to stick to that ruling because it’s again, a manifestation of the rule of law - like our adherence the water agreements - by continuing to charge the same 1962 rate of RM 0.5 per 1,000 gallon for Johore’s treated water, when it costs Singapore RM2.40 to treat every 1,000 gallons of water.

    Singapore-Malaysia: Mahathir makes splash over water prices

    Yes, I saw that.

    Indeed.
     
  17. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Graham Tillett Allison, Jr. coined the phrase Thucydides Trap to refer to when a rising power causes fear in an established power which escalates toward war. Thucydides wrote: "What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." In 2016, IHS said Malaysia was forecast to achieve a per capita GDP of US$20,000 by 2025, with total GDP exceeding US$1 trillion by 2030. The structure of Malaysia's economy would continue to shift towards higher value-added manufacturing and services. From my perspective it is only a matter of when Malaysia’s GDP will exceed $1 trillion and at that time, they would have funds to buy plenty of guns and advanced weapons. But it will take the Malaysians decades to catch up, even after they become rich.

    Malaysia and Singapore agree to revert to original port limits

    Edited Transcript of the Media Wrap-Up with Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan after the Joint Press Conference in Putrajaya, 14 March 2019

    Malaysia's "Parang Diplomacy" is Entirely Self-Defeating - Critical Spectator

    With a nominal GDP of US$361.36 billion (or S$487 billion) in 2018, Singapore shares a moral obligation to steer away from Thucydides's Trap with regard to Malaysia under Dr M, as we watch Malysia’s rise to a US$1 trillion economy in the 2030 period and beyond. We should continue to spend prudently on defence and drag out the timeline required for Malaysia to reach parity with us in capability (well into the 2040s - 2060s), with good planing and execution of the NEXT GEN SAF, whose roll out we witnessed with the launch of the Type-218SG. From 1975-1984 (1st Gen SAF), the SAF was prepare to fight knowing we were not at parity at a doctrinal level, with the Malaysians being stronger. From 1985 to 2004 (2nd Gen), we were prepared to fight at approximate ‘approximate parity’ with Singapore holding an edge in our combined arms doctrine. By 2005 onwards (3rd Gen), the SAF had clearly superior equipment and doctrine. The goal is to delay a return to ‘approximate parity’ till 2055 to 2061 - towards the end of the water agreements with Malaysia - that we do not intend to renew.
     
  18. OPSSG

    OPSSG Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The thaw in Singapore-Malaysia relations this week (following Lee Hsien Loong’s meeting with Dr M in Putrajaya during the leaders’ retreat) has surprised many. This change in tune by the Malaysians comes at a difficult time for the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government with Dr M in an ongoing tussle with the crown prince of Johor that shares deeply-rooted ties with Singapore. This tussle has stolen the limelight from the sudden thaw in bilateral relations and shows how far Dr M will go if he is pushed in a corner. The tit-for-tat responses between the old political fox and the young crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim may have overshadowed new agreements between Malaysia and Singapore but it is the resolving of conflicts, particularly the bilateral water issue, that will have a deeper impact on Johor.

    In the ongoing tussle, none of them want to be on the losing side and both the executive and the prince want to have the upper hand in the running of affairs of Malaysia as well as Johor.
    I think you neglect the role of agency, which is important to Singapore. In managing our defence and foreign relations, Singapore is an active agent in shaping our relations. I would not want to include UK in this discussion (too complex) but I am pleased to provide some defence related links for further reading, with regard to other key defence relationships named in your post.

    With regard to our relations with hostile parties like Malaysia, Singapore’s Defence Minister spoke once and then he refrained from openly making a further public stand. That said, we have to let actions speak for itself rather than issue statements. We continue to preserve and even enhance in several ways our defense and security engagements with friendly external powers, including with Australia, US, Germany and even France. Providing military access to foreign powers, buying new weapons besides joint training and exercises, is our way of contributing towards credible, friendly military presence to counter attempts at undermining rule of law by Malaysia.

    Apart from Singapore’s close but discreetly managed security relationship with the United States, it has built a network of defence relations with countries as diverse as Australia, France, and Germany. These are but some of the countries that host Singapore defence assets, given Singapore’s space constraints. These relationships lend diplomatic diversity, if not redundancy, designed to maximise Singapore’s options, thus avoiding the patron-client trap of less proactive small states.

    Singapore, US Step Up Defence Cooperation

    Singapore and Germany Strengthen Defence Ties through New Agreement on Defence Cooperation

    Singapore and France Reaffirm Strong and Broad-based Bilateral Defence Relations