Letter to the Editor: Response to The Shangri-La Dialogue

Shaun Seah responds to our previous article by Jina Lim, The Shangri-La Dialogue: Ensuring Singapore’s Relevance in Defence Diplomacy. In his letter, he highlights the value of a virtualised format in increasing capacity, accessibility, and diversity of participation, with a view towards leveling the diplomatic playing field for smaller and developing states. He also points out the added benefit of such platforms in lending clarity to strategic clashes amidst the current volatile global environment.

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The Management of Threats in Singapore: Civil-Military Integration

In this paper, Isaac Neo explores why Singapore’s historical experience with high levels of internal and external threat have not resulted in degraded civilian control over the military, despite existing Civil-Military Relations models predicting such an outcome. He argues this is due to the effective demarcation of responsibility between civilian institutions and the Singapore Armed Forces, along the lines of internal and external threat management. This is reinforced by the subordination of the military to a broader notion of security through the Total Defence framework. Lastly, there is a sustained effort to civilianise the military sphere, through National Service and other administrative structures.

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Expanding The Value Proposition For The SAF and Home Team

Since its establishment, the National Service (NS) institution has helped Singapore to maintain its security through military and civil defense. To increase the value proposition of NS in peacetime, Ng Paul Seen explores ways to enhance the nation-building aspect of NS, through a more holistic conception of the institution that includes individual development.

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Disrupting National Service Policy: An Alternative for Ben Davis and Singapore

Ben Davis should be allowed to disrupt or defer National Service, writes Brendan Dean. That this will not be allowed under current policy shows that the policy should be changed, to recognise the dynamics of team sports and the contributions to national spirit that having Singaporeans on the world athletic stage makes. The supposed choice between duty and talent development is a false dichotomy.

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