In This Review

Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore
Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore
By Tim Huxley
Allen & Unwin, 2001, 335 pp

One of the very best in the excellent series The Armed Forces of Asia, this book offers a fascinating look at a little-known but effective military organization. Singaporeans, who usually maintain considerable discretion on security matters, have already snapped up this book. Written by a British scholar, it brings up issues that are almost never discussed -- including sensitive questions of war plans with Singapore's neighbors. Drawing on Israeli and other foreign experts and using only their country's limited resources, the Singaporeans have molded a technologically sophisticated and large military that is capable of striking far from the island state. Given the country's absence of natural resources and lack of strategic depth, it is a remarkable achievement. The military has not yet been tested in real combat, but few observers doubt its professional ability. A fascinating study of what an intelligent, determined people can do to forge an effective military in unfavorable circumstances.