Singapore Ranks Among Top Per Capita Defense Spenders, Bolsters Military Amid Regional Tensions

Singapore, known for its prosperity and peace with neighboring countries, has developed one of the most advanced and densely defended militaries in the world. Despite its small size, comparable to New York City, Singapore’s defense budget exceeded $11 billion in 2022, showcasing a significant investment in military assets, including the procurement of advanced F35 fighter jets. The country’s strategic approach to defense, driven by its vulnerable geographic position and lack of strategic depth, has led to a military so powerful that it deters potential aggressors and safeguards the nation’s critical assets.

  • Singapore has a highly advanced military with a 2022 defense budget of over $11 billion.
  • The city-state has more military assets per square kilometer than any other country globally.
  • It maintains deep defense ties with the US and has ordered 20 F35 fighter jets, becoming the only Southeast Asian country allowed to operate them.
  • Singapore’s geography, sitting on the Strait of Malacca, requires a strong military to defend its vital shipping lanes.
  • The concept of being a “poisonous shrimp” deters larger powers from considering aggression.
  • Singapore’s military assets include more tanks than the UK and a growing submarine fleet surpassing its neighbors.
  • All Singaporean men are required to serve two years of mandatory military service.
  • The country has limited strategic depth, with critical assets close to its borders, leading to innovative defense strategies like converting civilian infrastructure for military use.
  • Singapore increased its defense budget due to growing regional tensions, particularly concerns over US-China relations concerning Taiwan.
  • The nation attempts a military balance, engaging in joint drills with both Chinese and US forces, and allowing the US military to use its facilities.

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