09 December 2019
Singapore ’s new defence pact with the United States – allowing it to set up a fighter jet training detachment in Guam – is a nod to deepening military ties between the countries, experts said, adding that it was the city state’s way of assuring Washington of its loyalty despite boosting cooperation with Beijing.
Singapore has “always been a close friend” of the US, said Faizal Abdul Rahman, a research fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, citing its contribution to US-led operations in Afghanistan and the global coalition against the Islamic State (Isis) militant group.
“This is just a continuation of that strategic and operational partnership,” he said, adding that it also made “logical sense” that Guam was chosen, since Singapore purchases and uses American military technology.
Collin Koh, a research fellow at Singapore’s Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, said there were multiple reasons for the new pact.
He said Guam provided a “very convenient midpoint” for flights from Singapore to the US, and such “stopovers” would be useful for technical reasons as well as training opportunities.
CENS / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 10/12/2019