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Tackling the Returning Foreign Fighter Threat: Hard or Soft Approach
LTC Harris Tan Nan An

Over the past two years, the fortunes of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have turned in the Middle East. In the face of sustained ground operations and airstrikes by the United States (US) and Russian-led coalitions, the terrorist movement has ceded control of its territorial caliphate. As ISIS retreats underground, policy makers have warned of a potential surge in foreign fighters returning to their home countries. With over 1,000 Southeast Asians having joined ISIS in Iraq and Syria since 2012, the region is not immune from the threat posed by returning fighters. This essay endeavours to understand the threat posed by returning foreign fighters to Southeast Asia, and the policy responses available to governments to address this threat. It also argues that policy imbalances, that is, a predominantly 'hard' or 'soft' approach can have dangerous repercussions. Accordingly, states must be capable of fusing both approaches to manage this complex and multi-faceted issue.

Accelerating the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the SAF
ME4 Albany Loh & CPT Lee Zi Yang

Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Advanced Robotics and Internet of Things—these are merely the tip of the iceberg called the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is happening today. Not only does the Fourth Industrial Revolution hold the potential to transform the global economy and our way of living, it also promises to bring about a profound impact on the militaries around the world. Faced with tighter resource constraints in an increasingly complex security environment, it has become a key imperative for the SAF to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and be an early adopter of these technologies in the contemporary context. This essay suggests three key thrusts that the SAF can focus on in the immediate term to accelerate the Fourth Industrial Revolution within the organisation and achieve tangible progress.

The Rise of the Fifth Domain and its Legal Considerations
CPT Cristel-Anne Low Jie Xin

With the prevalence of cyber operations targeting Singapore and countries around the world, there is an increasing need for Singapore to confront this threat and effectively respond to it. Advancements in technology, increased reliance on technology and the accompanying vulnerabilities mean that cyber threats must now be given due regard. Despite its ubiquity, there is a lack of clarity in the legal norms that govern the use of cyberspace. This essay thus proposes four standard questions that Singapore can use as guiding points to determine its legitimate response. First, by determining if it is a State or non-State actor; second, if there has been an infringement on our rights as a sovereign State; third, the appropriate body of law applicable; and lastly, the legitimate responses that Singapore can take.

Edge Computing: Optimising Training Through Data Analytics
MAJ Alvin Quek

Technology is constantly evolving to meet the ever increasing need for convenience. For companies to stay ahead of the competition, data has served as a pool of information for developers to delve into, providing an avenue for developers to further deepen their knowledge towards their consumers. With this, the methods of collecting data have also become a crucial point for developers to look into, as it would supply vast troves of data for them to create products that would meet the consumer's needs. In this essay, the author looks into ways the SAF can utilise edge computing to optimise its operations despite not having a big data architecture. This essay also provides examples and examines how the incorporation of edge computing into wearable technology can benefit the SAF. Several potential applications of such technology with data analytics for the SAF was also discussed. Lastly, the shortcomings of edge technology are also highlighted.

Intelligence in a New Age of War
CPT Katie Qintan Lin

The new age of war will be an age of robots and automation, of a highly urbanised and interconnected world with blurred boundaries, and of hybrid warfare and terrorism. This essay focuses on three main areas in its exploration of the new landscape of war and the role of intelligence in it: (1) unmanned systems and platforms, (2) hybrid warfare and opensource intelligence, as well as (3) active hunting and persistent sensing. The author highlights that there is a need for the intelligence community to evolve in terms of adopting nascent and unmanned technologies, as well as developing new doctrines or concepts of operation for new domains of intelligence. Only then can timely, accurate and relevant intelligence be provided to the SAF in the future.

Developing the Bases of Powers as a Leader – A Comparison of Two Great Military Leaders
MAJ Timothy Koh Tong Choon

Military leaders are the cornerstone of a country's armed forces. Directing soldiers under their command, they mustpossess the ability to understand what power they have and the appropriate situations where they can exercise their power. According to the author, to be effective, firstly, leaders need to possess strong domain expertise and critical analysis ability, which are the basics for sound decision-making and key sources of power to exercise influence. Secondly, leaders need to expand their social network constantly as it will provide commanders with better situational awareness. In addition, having a strong network of connections provides commanders with substantial authority to exercise influence over others. Thirdly, leaders need to understand the context and be prepared to exercise their influence in the most effective manner. They need to exercise the relevant powers as demanded by the situation. Lastly, leaders must recognise that there is power in unity. Hence, they should strive towards the development of their subordinates to strengthen the collective power of their team.

Last updated on 19 December 2019
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