Monday, October 17, 2011

Understanding Defence Creep

The magic touch at workplaces: Pets, By Sophie Hong, mypaper 17 October 2011

With a mischievous twinkle in his eye, Mr Song, who is from Sarawak, said that he added personal touches to his office through "stealth", bringing in one plant first, before bringing in more.

Then came a fish tank.

"I've been with the firm for quite a while now, so I guess they (my colleagues) are used to it," said Mr Song with a laugh.

He noted that none of his colleagues objected when the fish tanks "became bigger over time".

By then, they were so used to the kampung-themed decor that none of them batted an eyelid when he added a finch to his office six months ago.

"Some of my colleagues didn't even notice the bird. They thought that the noise was coming from my mobile phone's ringtone," said Mr Song. - From mypaper, 17 October 2011

The above extract reminded me so much of the defence creep concept and it brightened up my Monday morning.

The idea goes back decades, it seems. It has helped Singapore's combat strength creep up incrementally after initial purchases desensitised the neighbourhood to certain war machines or military capabilities.

Noteworthy examples include Singapore's decision to keep its F-16A/Bs in the United States till the Royal Thai Air Force had received its F-16s. The Lion City thus let go of bragging rights to being the first air force in Southeast Asia to operate the combat-proven interceptor in the mid-1980s.

Then we had the Sjoormen-class diesel-electric submarines bought from the Royal Swedish Navy and extensively refurbished to as-new standard to see if Singapore really needed submarines.

The CH-47D Chinook heavy-lift helicopters were explained as assets for extending search and rescue (SAR) coverage in Singapore's flight information region, which extends over the South China Sea. Till this day, I have yet to see a single Chinook in SAR colours....


Anonymous said...

Well, search, I don't know, but I'm sure the Chinooks did a lot of rescue during the 2004 Tsunami relief operations... As did the "LSTs".

David Boey said...

Hi stngiam,
The Chinooks were the backbone of Operation Flying Eagle (OFE), the SAF tsunami relief mission, in Indonesia and Thailand.

The SAR role described in the original news releases were, however, the wet winching kind of SAR missions over the South China Sea.

Best Regards,


Anonymous said...

The real problem starts when proteges accustomed to such feeble excuses transition into politics.

Anonymous said...

For his neighbours to accept his antics, Mr Seah must be a nice and humble guy.