I. Why does conflict occur?
A. Competition over Territory
- Territory may mean a lot to a country if land
is important for national pride & its defense.
- Hence, conflict occurs when:
- when ownership of land is unclear
- countries tries to take over territories
belonging to other countries
India-China Border Conflict
- In 1947, India gained its
independence from Britain and inherited the frontier drawn by the
- It was difficult to have a clear border
between India & China because much of the frontier lies in
- China disagreed with the frontier
and were unwilling to negotiate as they did not want to commit
themselves to a definite boundary.
- Two border regions then became areas of
- Aksai Chin Plateau <on western end of
- North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) <on
eastern end of Indian-China Frontier near Burma>
5. In 1958, China announced that it had built a road on Aksai
Chin plateau. The Indian government then protested
as it violated its territorial rights.
6. Tensions between India & China then worsened in 1959 when fighting broke
out in the two border regions mentioned.
of the border conflict between China & India shows that even if the
land in dispute does not actually have much commercial value, the conflict over
it will still result in tension between the 2 countries and even lead to war
& bloodshed between them, as seen in year 1962.
B. Conflict over scarce resources
- Natural resources in the world are not equally
distributed. (Some countries may have more than others) e.g.
Singapore does not have any natural aquatic resources
- Hence, conflicts occur when countries use
force to gain more resources belonging to other countries.
Iceland (the conflict over fishing grounds)
- Iceland has few natural resources and
depending on the fishing industry for its survival.
- Fishermen from European countries such as
Belgium, Germany & Britain were overfishing around Iceland. This
causes fish stocks around Iceland to decrease in 1970s.
- In 1975, Iceland extended its zone of control
over fishing ground from 50 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles beyond
its shore, but Britain refused to acknowledge the new boundary.
- Thus, in Feb 1976, Iceland cut its diplomatic
ties with Britain which is only restored in later June after an agreement
was signed in which it states that:
- A max of 24 trawlers at one time is allowed
into the boundary and catch a fixed amount of fish.
- Iceland's patrol vessels can stop and inspect
trawlers suspected of violating the agreement.
- After 6 months, Britain is not allowed to
fish in the boundary anymore.
This example of
conflict between Iceland and Britain over fishing grounds shows that even
conflict may result in tension between the 2 countries and even led to
confrontational conflict between them even without a war.
C. Conflict over Different Ideologies
- Different countries may have different values
- Some countries thought that their ideologies
are more superior & hence, wanted to impose them on other 'inferior'
- Conflict then occur when countries feel that
their ideological beliefs are threatened by other countries.
Korean War (Democracy VS Communism)
Do take note that my version is SIMPLIFIED, as it excluded the
38th parallel line & China's involvement, please clarify with your
teacher/textbook if you find the info insufficient.
- Japan soldiers that occupied Korea before WW2
left after they were defeated in WW2 in 1945.
- Northern part of Korea was occupied by the
Soviet Union (USSR) while Southern part of Korea was occupied by USA.
- UN called for an election to establish a
single government to reunite Korea in 1947 but was refused by USSR.
- USSR even installed a communist regime,
a government which is not elected fairly/ disapproved for some reasons,
known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the Northern part of
- In 1948, Republic of Korea in Southern part of
Korea was formed with the support of USA.
- USA, UN and allies defended South Korea when
North Korea invaded them as an attempt to unite Korea as a whole in 1950,
as the USA feared the spread of communism.
- In August 1953, an agreement was signed by all
parties to stop fighting and a demilitarised zone between North Korea
& South Korea was created.
The example of conflict between South &
North Korea over their different political ideologies show that such conflict
may result in great tensions that involve superpowers such as United States and
can lead to massive destruction & division of a country, affecting its
stability and development.
Sample Conclusion <thx to Mr. Patrick Chong>
In conclusion, I feel that conflict over different ideologies is
the most serious factor as it has the greatest impact. This
is because ideological issues are most sensitive and difficult
to be resolved. Conflicts over territories and natural resources on the
other hand can be resolved by talks and agreements more easily. But conflict
over ideologies very often can lead to war & destruction if not handled
with care and therefore, more severe.
II. Deterrence in SG
A. Background Info:
Definition of deterrence: Measures taken by countries
to prevent & protect themselves from threats.
- It is important to SG because wer are a very
small city-state and thus must be ready to defend ourselves.
Types of Deterence in Singapore:
B. Building a Citizen Armed Force
- SG could not afford a large professional army
- Population was <2million
National Service(NS) is introduced in 1967.
- Used to help develop economy instead which is
Today, Singapore Armed Forces(SAF) comprises
- Able-bodied men learn to defend country.
- Promote bonding among Singaporean Men as they
share a common exp in their training.
- Develop a sense of loyalty, patriotism &
a shared destiny.
- Upon completion, these men would continue to
serve in the citizen armed force as Operationally Ready NS men for
- Attend refresher courses
to maintain competence in handling new weapons & equipment.
- Republic of Singapore Air Force(RSAF)
- Republic of Singapore Navy(RSN)
- The 3rd Generation SAF works towards
maximising defensive capabilities through modern tech, equips our soldiers
to fight decisively in war & respond flexibly in peacetime, & aims
to create an intelligent defence force where surveillance & strike
systems to provide early intelligence which would help to destroy the
enemy even before they locate us.
A citizen armed force produce competent
& committed soldiers who are well trained and loyal to Singapore, hence it
helps to deter any potential aggressors as SAF becomes a strong force to be
C. SG's Defence Industries
- Started in 1967 when the Chartered Industries
of SG(CIS) was established to produce small arms ammunition which now has
been developed into a successful defence company in the region with
subsidaries such as SembCorp Industries & SembCorp Logistics.
- The Defence Science & Technology Agency
(DSTA) was formed in 2000 to provide cost-effective and modern tech to the
SAF & MOD.
Reduces SAF dependence on foreign arms
supplies as countries may not be willing to share their defence
- They buy & upgrade weapons & develop
new weapon systems for SAF's use.
- Conducted defence-related research &
development activities with other countries & local tertiary
D. Total Defence
- Introduced in 1984 to involve everyone in the
defence of the country.
- Consists of 5 aspects: Military, Civil,
Economic, Social & Psychological Defence.
Economic → SG Workforce Development Agency(WDA)
works with other agencies such as labour unions & pro associations to
support industry & upgrade skills of existing workers to keep them
employable in a competitive economy.
Social → Organisations & community groups
such as the Community Development Councils(CDC), schools & Inter-Racial Confidence Circle (IRCC)
organise activities to ensure unity will not be broken such as:
- emergency preparedness exercises
- visits to places of worship of different
- inter-faith dialogues & workshops
Psychological → The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in period 2003
shows that Singaporeans had the will & mental strength to overcome the
Civil → The importance of knowing what to do
without relying on others during civil emergencies was seen on the morning of 15
March 1986, Hotel New World, a 6-level building
collapsed suddenly. Personnel of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and
trained Singaporean volunteers worked together on their own in an attempt
to rescue survivors.
Total Defence provides a comprehensive and
integrated response to all kinds of threats and challenges. It ensures every
citizen is prepared for emergencies and is self-reliant. This show of unity and
strength serves as deterrence to all potential attacks as it conveys the
message that all citizens are ever ready and prepared to safeguard the nation
at all costs. Potential aggressors will think twice if they know they face the
entire nation and not just the armed forces.
E. Multi-agency Coordination on Security
- National Security Coordination Secretariat was
set up to coordinate work of various government agencies:
- Ministry of Defence
- " " of Home Affairs
- " " of Foreign Affairs
- Meets regularly to plan
national security strategies & policies.
- Works with commercial
& private parties to combat any form of major terrorist threats.
This integrated security approach helps to
prevent, protect & effectively respond to any security by sharing
intelligence. This coordination among various ministries strengthens SG's
internal security and deter potential aggressors.
F. Military Co-operation
- Actively fosters friendly ties with armed
forces of other countries.
- SG had military agreements with various countries
to allow our troops to train in their countries.
Conducts regular military training with
neighbouring countries such as Malaysia & Indonesia.
SG is involved in multi-lateral military
agreements & exercises with other countries.
- e.g. France, Australia, New Zealand, India
- e.g. The 5 Power Defence Arrangements(FPDA)
established in 1971. Members are SG, UK, MY, Australia, New Zealand.
- In an event of an external
threat against SG or MY, members would consult one another on the
appropriate measures to be taken against the aggressor.
Military cooperation ensures that SG is not
isolated, which is a win-win situation, as other than getting help from other
countries available. SG would help others whenever possible too in military
matters. However, ultimately we still need to depend on ourselves to deter