Accession Number:



Future of Singapore's conscript army

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Technical Report,13 Aug 2018,14 Jun 2019

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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Since its inception 50 years ago, the Singapore Army has relied on conscription to raise a large ground force which has been the basis for its deterrence strategy. While considerably effective thus far, the future holds several challenges to the viability of conscription, namely the rising prevalence of asymmetric conflict, ascendancy of firepower over maneuver, and a changing Singaporean demographic. To consider if conscription remains the most apt mode of building Singapores army, the thesis examines the experience of similarly placed countries Israel, Taiwan and Latvia and considers three possible futures to retain the current cadre-conscript model, adopt an expansible model, or shift to an all-volunteer force. The analysis is guided by Longs Applied Professional Case Study Research method, which considers the perspectives of both the professional military and stakeholders, and also includes best practices from the management domain to develop a well-rounded implementation strategy. The thesis argues that the cadre-conscript model, though imperfect and not the popular option, remains the most suitable, feasible and acceptable way to addressing the future challenges in Singapores current context.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

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