Peace & Security

Thanks to T H for contributing the notes!

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:

  1. when ownership of land is unclear

  2. countries tries to take over territories belonging to other countries

India-China Border Conflict

  1. In 1947, India gained its independence from Britain and inherited the frontier drawn by the British.

  2. It was difficult to have a clear border between India & China because much of the frontier lies in inaccessible Himalayas.

  3. China disagreed with the frontier and were unwilling to negotiate as they did not want to commit themselves to a definite boundary.

  4. Two border regions then became areas of conflict:

  • Aksai Chin Plateau <on western end of Indian-China Frontier>

  • 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.

This example 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)

  1. Iceland has few natural resources and depending on the fishing industry for its survival.

  2. Fishermen from European countries such as Belgium, Germany & Britain were overfishing around Iceland. This causes fish stocks around Iceland to decrease in 1970s.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  1. Different countries may have different values & beliefs.

  2. Some countries thought that their ideologies are more superior & hence, wanted to impose them on other 'inferior' countries.

  3. 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.

  1. Japan soldiers that occupied Korea before WW2 left after they were defeated in WW2 in 1945.

  2. Northern part of Korea was occupied by the Soviet Union (USSR) while Southern part of Korea was occupied by USA.

  3. UN called for an election to establish a single government to reunite Korea in 1947 but was refused by USSR.

  4. 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 Korea.

  5. In 1948, Republic of Korea in Southern part of Korea was formed with the support of USA.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  1. SG could not afford a large professional army in 1965

  2. Population was <2million

    • Used to help develop economy instead which is more important.

  3. National Service(NS) is introduced in 1967.

    • 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 another 10years.

      • Attend refresher courses to maintain competence in handling new weapons & equipment.

  4. Today, Singapore Armed Forces(SAF) comprises of:

    1. Army

    2. Republic of Singapore Air Force(RSAF)

    3. Republic of Singapore Navy(RSN)

  1. 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 reckoned with.

C. SG's Defence Industries

  1. 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.

  2. The Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) was formed in 2000 to provide cost-effective and modern tech to the SAF & MOD.

    • They buy & upgrade weapons & develop new weapon systems for SAF's use.

    • Conducted defence-related research & development activities with other countries & local tertiary instituitions.

  3. Reduces SAF dependence on foreign arms supplies as countries may not be willing to share their defence technology.

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:

  1. emergency preparedness exercises

  2. visits to places of worship of different faiths

  3. 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 challenging issues.

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

  1. 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

  1. Actively fosters friendly ties with armed forces of other countries.

  2. SG had military agreements with various countries to allow our troops to train in their countries.

    • e.g. France, Australia, New Zealand, India

  3. Conducts regular military training with neighbouring countries such as Malaysia & Indonesia.

  4. SG is involved in multi-lateral military agreements & exercises with other countries.

    • 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 potential aggressors.