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POINTER Vol.41 No.3
Fires - Tempering of Steel
The RSAF Journey - Voices from the Past Present and Future

RSAF Through 50 Years of Nation-Building

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Sea Power As A Strategic Domain

by ME6 Khoo Koh Giok

The author focuses on the unique characteristics of sea power and its strategic utility. In this essay, he defines sea power with reference to Alfred Thayer Mahan, an American historian and naval officer who was an expert on sea power in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He then discusses the characteristics of sea power, its strengths and limitations in the peace to war continuum and its contributions to the Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic (DIME) instruments of national power. He highlights that in some cases, sea power is the strategic tool of choice while in others, it is merely an enabler. He goes on to argue that sea power has limitations to be qualified as a strategic domain on its own. In his opinion, the culmination of land-sea-air powers into a combined military power provides countries with better flexibility and options to employ military forces to meet strategic objectives. He concludes that military power, instead of land-air-sea power in solation, is better qualified as a strategic domain.

Air Power – A Panacea to Future Armed Conflicts?

by MAJ Foo Yuk Min 

The military force of a country usually comprises three key components: the army, the navy and the air force, all of which can stake a legitimate claim to be the most vital aspect of the military due to their various strengths. Yet, in recent conflicts, it is arguable that air power can be seen as the most crucial component of the military. With air forces around the world developing more cutting-edge technology such as precision munitions and more efficient computing processors, as well as working on new operating doctrines, the future of military engagements seem to point to the skies as the key aspect of any country’s military. Through an examination of various examples of armed conflicts, this essay serves to debate if air power is really the panacea to future armed conflicts, or if land and naval forces are just as essential.

The Humane Age of Non-Lethal Warfare

by MAJ Phua Chao Rong, Charles

There have been centuries of conventional warfare whereby each power strives to inflict as much damage as possible, whilst selfishly sustaining their own survival and pushing for their own causes. This is notwithstanding the fact that this kind of war causes collateral damage for all parties involved as well as civilian casualties. Now, according to the author, mankind has finally started to transcend violence and accept the fact that all it causes is more violence, that is, ‘a vicious cycle of conflict’, making long term peace solutions impossible. The author then discusses the idea of a revolutionary age of Non-Lethal Warfare (NLW) which is a more holistic form of asymmetric and humane warfare, in which non-lethal weapons are used to defeat the enemies and to achieve a swift yet benevolent victory. This essay also assesses the pros and cons of the various aspects of humane warfare and NLW at an operational level and also assesses its overall applicability to the Singapore Army.

The Malayan Emergency (1948-1960) – Can Lessons be drawn for Present Day Situations?

by MAJ Lim Yu Sing

Following the success of the British insurgency during the Malayan Emergency, there has been a countless host of works aimed at uncovering the ‘lessons’ to be learnt from their victory in Malaya. This essay explores whether the lessons learnt from the case of the Malayan Emergency, are indeed a practical template to base future counterinsurgency (COIN) campaigns on or, if the British Army’s success was uniquely contextual to the situation in Malaya at the time; that it cannot be replicated in other COIN campaigns since each insurgency has a distinct political and socio-economic character. The essay continues with an in-depth study of the situation during the Malayan Emergency, in an attempt to find out what the unique factors were that led to their success, what can and cannot be used as a ‘template’ for other COIN campaigns.


by ME5 Seah Ser Thong, Calvin

The technology boom of the 21st century has led to the rapid rise and influence of the Internet on people around the world. Originally created to interconnect laboratories engaged in government research, the Internet has now become a universal information sharing platform that brings people from all walks of life closer together. However, this increased interconnectedness of information sharing has its disadvantages and perils. International hacking groups like ‘Anonymous’ have increased efforts to obtain information through illegal and unethical means, while cyber threats like the Stuxnet Worm have become increasingly prevalent. As such, an increasing number of countries are investing more into cyber security to combat these cyber threats. This essay will delve deeper into the nature and extent of cyber threats and its impact on the military and potential cyber defence measures.

Last updated on 09 Oct 2015
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