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on 30 November 2017

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Transcript of 4play

The SAF should not play a larger domestic role in Singapore
Syndicate 4
raison d'être
is premised on defending Singapore’s territorial integrity and sovereignty against

Doing more domestically is
to MINDEF/SAF’s core mission

maintain the status quo
, and not play a larger role domestically

should continue to be the lead agency for domestic security

MINDEF/SAF should step in to do more domestically,
only if
MHA or other lead agencies are unable to fulfill its mission.

There is scope for MINDEF/SAF to "
say more"

"To Enhance the Peace and Security of Singapore through Deterrence and Diplomacy, and should these fail, to achieve a Swift and Decisive Victory over the Aggressor"
"To work as a team, in partnership with the community, to make Singapore our Safe and Secure Best Home"
Mission of MINDEF/SAF vs MHA
Positive Feedback Loop
Public Support for Defence and NS
Continued allocation of national resources (manpower, land, budget)
MINDEF/SAF fulfills raison d'etre, and achieves mission success
Public has positive perception of MINDEF/SAF, continues to regard it as
relevant and important
Homeland Security
Joint patrols with MHA
Coastal surveillance operations in support of MHA
CT exercises with MHA
Establishment of IDTI
Establishment of ADF
SEA Games
National Crises
CBRE support
Special Forces (e.g. hostage taking)
SAF should
not do
more domestically
Emergent External Demands
No need
Limited resources
Slippery Slope
Risks & challenges
Limited Resources
Tightened resource in manpower and budget at the national level
Risk of overstraining MINDEF/SAF
Additional load on already-tight NSF UTS (unit training system)
WOG effort to security
Avoid duplication with MHA
Misaligned with MINDEF/SAF raison d'etre
Risk of militarised state
Slippery Slope
Larger domestic role may not have much synergies with conventional ops (e.g. organising SEA Games)
Erosion of principled approach to defence spending (i.e. need to justify for additional resources to support efforts that do not directly contribute to MINDEF/SAF's raison d'etre + "if we have so much time to do these domestic roles, means we can cut NS!")
Slippery slope & mission creep; we'll be increasingly expected to do more, and risk compromising our ability to prosecute our primary mission
Increasing domestic role may be politicised; public may view MINDEF/SAF as a political tool
Risks & Challenges
Overstrain and compromise our ability to prosecute main mission
Interoperability issues
different mindset/ROE needed (escalate vs de-escalate)
Affects training cycle
Pressure to "do more"
The need to stay relevant

Political need to respond to non-traditional threats, or risk being regarded as irrelevant by the public
MINDEF/SAF as the "go-to" organisation in Singapore

No other organisation at the WOG level has the capabilities & resources

MINDEF/SAF "doing more" domestically
Social Defence
Military Defence
Economic Defence
Psychological Defence
Civil Defence
SAF's primary domain is in military defence
MHA should do more
Historical Context
Optimised for Domestic Demands
Plans to Expand
Optimised for Domestic Demands
Full spectrum of existing agencies to cover all facets of domestic security (e.g. SPF, SCDF, ISD, ICA, CNB, SPS, HTA, CRA, SCORE) <<find a MHA org chart!>>
Special Operations Command & ERTs to focus on terrorism
Aggressive recruitment of 2,100 officers to augment manpower
Historical Context
"The Home Team works together to protect our nation, our community and our people by safeguarding them from threats,
upholding order and peace
, and
building community resilience
. Our collective efforts ensure that Singapore and all who live here enjoy
peace and security
MINDEF/SAF’s raison d'être is premised on defending Singapore’s territorial integrity and sovereignty against
external aggression
Doing more domestically is
to MINDEF/SAF’s core mission
Thank you!
We'll be happy to take questions!
National Level Events
Hotel New World
Cable Car Rescue
Fighting SARS
Distributing N95 masks
Niche Expertise
We're talking to you, MHA!
No Need
External Demands
Continual need to maintain conventional edge in light of neighbours' projected increase in militaries' defence budget
Cyber Security?
Cyber Security
Domain that transcends domestic/external boundary
Spearheaded by CSA, with MINDEF/SAF's DCO in support
Nascent expertise; should not overcommit
MINDEF/SAF continue to focus on military-related cyber security, and support CSA
Plans to Expand
- recruit 2100 officers
- Polcam (remote CCTV)
- Mass Decontamination vehicle (assist SAF's MRF)
- Unmanned firefighting vehicle (unmanned police patrol?)

Nation Building?
"There is another aspect to our defence effort.
This is a contribution it can make to nation-building
... nothing creates loyalty and consciousness more speedily and more thoroughly than participation in defence and membership of the armed forces"

Dr Goh Keng Swee
Defence Minister
Second Reading of NS(Amendment) Bill
13 Mar 1967
"The SAF is
only an institution for nation building; it has an operational role to defend Singapore against armed attack in case of war. We cannot post a soldier, a NSman, to the SAF, simply for the purposes of nation building alone.
He is there not just for his education but to fulfill a role, an operational role

BG (NS) Lee Hsien Loong
Minister for Trade and Industry
Committee of Supply Debate 1987
"NS must be for meeting a critical national need.
That critical need is national security and our survival
. We have specifically narrowed the scope of NS because we know that it imposes considerable costs both to the individual and to the nation.

Dr Ng Eng Hen
Second Minister for Defence
Committee of Supply Debate 2010
Full transcript