Leadership: World Class Chinese Troops

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February 19, 2008: Singapore is increasing its defense budget to $10.8 billion, a 7.2 percent increase over last year. The island nation has a population of 3.7 million, and armed forces of 72,000 troops, plus 350,000 reservists. Singapore is something like Switzerland and Israel in this respect. Every able bodied male must serve for two years, and then serve in the reserve until age 40. This allows Singapore to mobilize a large, well trained and equipped force, on short notice.

On a per-capita basis, Singapore spends more on the military, and has more people in uniform, than the United States. The Singapore military is one of the best equipped, trained and led in the region. Singapore also sits astride the most important shipping channel (the Malacca Straits) in the world. Singapore has the best educated and most affluent population in the region. With so much worth defending, Singapore is ready to take on any hostile neighbors (mainly Malaysia, which Singapore used to be part of.)

Of the three "Chinese" armed forces in the world (the others being China and Taiwan), Singapore is the most effective, on a per-soldier basis. Singapore spends the most per soldier on weapons, equipment and training. China and Taiwan look to Singapore as the example of how effective Chinese soldiers can be. But it's not a matter of being Chinese. Singapore has long stressed education for all citizens, and borrows proven training techniques from other armed forces. For decades, Singaporean staff officers have studied military developments throughout the world, and identified technology and techniques that could of use to their armed forces.

 


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