Thursday, April 28, 2005

Kaplan's opinion of Singapore [military and political stance]

I first saw this on tomorrow.sg.
[Singapore is a] mixture of democracy and authoritarianism has made it unpopular with idealists in Washington, but as far as PACOM (United States Pacific Command) is concerned, the country is, despite its small size, one of the most popular and helpful in the Pacific. Its ethnically blind military meritocracy, its nurturing concern for the welfare of officers and enlisted men alike, and its jungle-warfare school in Brunei are second to none. With the exception of Japan, far to the north, Singapore offers the only non-American base in the Pacific where our nuclear carriers can be serviced. Its help in hunting down Islamic terrorists in the Indonesian archipelago has been equal or superior to the help offered elsewhere by our most dependable Western allies. One Washington-based military futurist told me, “The Sings, well—they’re just awesome in every way.”
[Source: Atlantic Monthly, June 2005 via Curzon, Coming Anarchy (Blog), 27/04/2005]

For a little more background information, Kaplan is a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly (paid subscription req'd), and the best-selling author of nine books on international affairs. Read by Clinton and George W Bush, he has advised the current president in the White House, and served as a consultant to the U. S. Army's Special Forces Regiment, the U. S. Air Force, and the U. S. Marines.