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The Concept of A Decisive Battle and the Key Takeaways for the Singapore Armed Forces

by LTC Tan Wee Heng, Melvyn



The essay argues that a decisive battle, that is, a battle that allows for a swift and decisive victory, does not, in itself, decide the outcome of war but, it can provide the operational advantage over the adversaries to accelerate the end of the war. This is illustrated through Commanding General Ulysses S. Grant’s strategies in the American Civil War. In addition, decisive battles are no longer confined to the traditional battle space and are not solely dependent on the use of hard power, as illustrated by the Battle of Fallujah. The author concludes that in order to astutely apply the concept of decisive battles in its strategies, the Singapore Armed Forces needs to be clear on our nation’s concept of victory, continue honing our information operations capability and ensure that our professional military education syllabi are designed to groom military professionals who can think, reflect and analyse.


Restrictions on Foreign Military Activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone: Major Powers’ ‘Lawfare’

by MAJ Chuah Meng Soon

In this article, the author first defines and explains the concept of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the context of the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He elaborates on the regional examples of restrictions declared and imposed by coastal states and also discusses the impact on traditional naval freedom of navigation due to these restrictions. The author concludes that the provisions in UNCLOS have been decisively clear that the EEZ was conceptualised to be exclusively for the coastal states in the realm of economic utilisation. He adds that disagreements will continue in the debate of UNCLOS between maritime powers and coastal states as long as fundamental interests are at play and that the seas remained important as a vital source of assets and a battle-ground for geopolitics.



The Case for Pre-Emptive Warfare and its Implications for Singapore

by CPT Seah Jun Hao




According to the author, small states make easy targets and it comes as no surprise that preventive measures are being considered to deter potential aggressors. One topic that has been widely and actively discussed is the issue of pre-emptive self-defence and warfare. However, the author stresses that there are underlying conditions that countries should consider before they can justify their cause for a pre-emptive self-defence. In his essay, he discusses the justifications for pre-emptive warfare as a useful tool in achieving strategic interests in the pre-war to post-war continuum. He also highlights the five justifications and three superiorities a country should consider in order to carry out a successful pre-emptive war. He discusses the strategic relevance and importance of pre-emptive warfare for small states. He then explores the various justifications for pre-emptive warfare and finally, he suggests the necessary preparations for a pre-emptive war.



Maskirovka In The Information Age

by LTA(NS) Chin Hui Han

The author examines the power of deception in the context of information operations in the modern hybrid battlespace. Examples discussed include the Normandy landings in World War Two (WWII) and the use of the Russian Maskirovka doctrine in the ongoing conflict in the Donbass regions. The author then discusses the information space as the new battlefield in which dominance is highly prized by the modern war-fighter. He adds that a democratic platform, with avenues for influence and exploitation by all parties, civilian or military, is a quagmire in which militaries globally have had to adapt operations and technologies to conduct information operations to increase situational awareness. Lastly, the author then examines the efforts in information operations that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has undertaken today as part of the 3rd Generation transformation.



Swimming In Sensors, Drowning In Data— Big Data Analytics For Military Intelligence

by ME4 Toh Bao En

With the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) investing heavily in integrated strike and Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) capabilities, intelligence analysts are now faced with the need to produce ever-more precise intelligence in the face of information overload—a deluge of data beyond the ability of humans to process and understand. Big data analytics provide the ability to quantitatively deal with the masses of information, as well as to qualitatively improve intelligence assessments by drawing out patterns and insights from data. In this essay, the author briefly examines how defence and intelligence agencies in other countries deal with big data and then outlines a model of what big data architecture would entail and a vision of how data analytics will change the way intelligence analysis is performed. Finally, the author proposes two approaches to seeding and implementing big data for intelligence in the SAF.


Last updated on 06 Apr 2016
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Exclusive Interview with Mr. Leslie Dean

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Exclusive Interview with Brig. Justin Kelly

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"Decision-making is both an art as well as a science." COL Ong Yu Lin

Video: Broadband / Dialup Read COL Ong Yu Lin's articles: Trg Expert Decision Makers / Decision-making in a Brigade Comd Team


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