SDP has recently made a call to reduce our defence spending. While this may not resonate well with many of our cabinet ministers who were former ‘paper generals’, the underlying social costs to our Singaporean sons have to be understood against the tremendous sacrifices they face.
Our over-sized military spending and hard-nosed policies regarding NS is mainly targeted at Malaysia and Indonesia. Anybody who was involved in S2 or G2 work in NS or as regular will know this to be the truth.
During the 1980s when I served NS, Vietnam and the Cold War communists were frequently simulated as the enemy in our exercises and war-games, operational war plans against Malaysia and Indonesia continued to be reviewed and updated.
Any country or alliance that wants Singapore needs to either go thru Malaysia/Indonesia or to side with these 2 countries against Singapore. In WW2, Japan secured the cooperation of Thailand in order to invade British Malaya. If Thailand had disagreed and put up a tough fight bank then, history will have been very different.
Today’s geopolitical scene is a very different one. No country will bother to waste a megaton nuclear missile or hundreds of conventional cruise missiles just to wipe out a city for no good reason. Even a so-called mad country like N Korea will think many times before invading the South.
So if you ask me two years is a really huge sacrifice for someone who is just merely there to become a mere statistic for a policy of deterrence. Just imagine if all of those resources were spent giving us a better education system and put to helping the poor instead.
Perhaps the only reason is that the PAP ministers are too comfortable in their golden tower.