Singapore's Defense Policy: Essential or Excessive?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This research explores the ambivalence that surrounds Singapores post-independence defense policy. On the one hand, Singapores defense policy has complemented the nations overall development with its robust efficacy and fiscal efficiency. However, the magnitude of the countrys defense expenditure also has led to the occasional raised eyebrow. For example, Singapores reported defense budget for 2009 was more than that of Malaysias and Indonesias put together, which some may find surprising given the relative sizes and populations of these three neighboring countries. The study will attempt to answer the following primary research question Could and should Singapore pursue a less expansive defense policy without compromising its national goals This question can be further pursued with two secondary questions, divided along temporal lines 1 To what extent has Singapores defense policy been integral in serving its national objectives from independence to the present day and 2 In view of its contemporary security environment, does Singapore need to maintain its current defense policy trajectory The study found that Singapores decision to pursue a rigorous and generously funded defense policy paid early dividends by reducing its initial vulnerability as a newly independent nation. Since then, the role of Singapores defense policy has evolved alongside changes in the security environment. Thus, while maintaining a credible deterrence will always remain the raison detre of Singapores defense policy, its contemporary manifestation pertains more directly to expanding Singapores international influence through its synergistic impact on Singapores economic and diplomatic instruments of national power.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Defense Systems