“Conflict in Ukraine: Implications for Small States and Responses”
Professor Martijn Kitzen
Chair, Irregular Warfare and Special Operations,
Netherlands Defence Academy
Mr Loro Horta
Former Timor-Leste Ambassador to Cuba, and
Counsellor, Timor-Leste Embassy, Beijing
Assistant Professor Ong Wei Chong
Head of National Security Studies Programme,
Deputy Coordinator of MSc (Strategic Studies) Programme,
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The multilateral rules-based international order that we see in the world today was drawn up largely in the wake of World War II to protect states from the aggression of other states. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has however demonstrated how such a rules-based international system can be ignored. It has brought to the fore the acute vulnerability of especially smaller states when confronted by a larger power. This webinar examines the implications of the conflict in Ukraine from the perspective of small states, and explores the range of options available to small states in response to these security dilemmas.
About the Speakers
Dr. Martijn Kitzen is Professor and holds the Chair in Irregular Warfare and Special Operations at the Netherlands Defence Academy. His research and teaching focus on irregular warfare in fragmented societies with a particular interest in the role of small states’ special operations forces in strategic competition. Martijn has published extensively about these topics and most recently co-edited the book The Conduct of War in the 21st Century. He regularly lectures at various international military institutes and staff colleges, and his research activities include previous fellowships at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Oxford’s Changing Character of War Centre as well as field work in Afghanistan and the Sahel region. In addition to his scholarly work, Martijn has been involved in pre-deployment training and advise for various nations, worked as in-theatre advisor in Afghanistan, and served as academic advisor for the revision of NATO’s AJP 3.4.4 (counterinsurgency). Martijn holds a PhD in history, a MA in political science, and is a graduate of the Royal Netherlands Military Academy. As a former military officer, he has experience in NATO and UN missions.
Mr Loro Horta is a diplomat from Timor-Leste, having served as Timor-Leste’s ambassador to Cuba, and as Counsellor in the Timor-Leste Embassy in Beijing. Loro Horta’s areas of expertise covers Chinese defence and security diplomacy,
China’s relations with developing countries, and Timor-Leste politics and society. He has written and published extensively on Chinese security and policy issues for over 15 years, frequently giving interviews to the press on Asian security and international relations issues. His articles have been published in China Brief, Yale Magazine, The Diplomat, East Asia Forum, Pacific Forum, The Diplomatic Courier, Le Diplomatic, The Interpreter, and the prestigious Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He has also written for some of Asia’s leading newspapers such as the Japan Times, The Straits Times, The Jakarta Post, South China Morning Post, amongst others.
As a diplomat, Horta held many other appointments. He was the UN National Project Manager for Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste; Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Luis Guterrez, Timor-Leste; and Consultant to UN in Turkmenistan. Horta was a Research Fellow in the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) where he graduated from, having achieved the UOB Gold Medal Award for the most outstanding student in MSc (Strategic Studies). He is also a graduate of the National Defence University, Beijing; the US Naval Postgraduate School, United States; and the University of Sydney, Australia
Ong Wei Chong is an Assistant Professor and Head of the National Security Studies Programme (NSSP), in the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also adjunct faculty in the Military Studies Programme at the school’s constituent unit, the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS). He has taught at the command and staff college, advanced school and officer cadet school levels at SAFTI Military Institute, Singapore. He was also coordinator of the Asia Pacific Programme for Senior Military Officers (APPSMO). In national service, Weichong is a Functional Specialist Support Staff Officer (Army) with the Singapore Armed Forces. In addition, he was an Affiliated Researcher with the Department of Leadership and Management, Swedish National Defence College and a Guest Professor at the Ecole Navale, France.
Weichong completed his doctoral studies with the Centre for the Study of War, State and Society, University of Exeter, UK in 2010 where he was a recipient of research grants from the University of Exeter and the Royal Historical Society. His other grants include a 3-year (2017-2020) Ministry of Education Academic Research Grant (AcRF) Tier 1 grant for a research project on Cold War Insurgency. He is also an alumnus of the Phillip Merrill Center for Strategic Studies Basin Harbor Workshop, SAIS, Johns Hopkins (2013).
Weichong’s articles, commentaries and op-eds have been published in the journal and magazine of the Singapore Armed Forces (Pointer and Pioneer); RUSI Journal; Armed Forces and Society; Small Wars & Insurgencies, Defence Studies; The Pacific Review; Asia Policy; The National Interest; The Diplomat: Australian Defence Force Journal; Journal of Southeast Asian Studies; Straits Times; Today; Lianhe Zaobao; Defense News; Canadian Naval Review; and Diplomatie.