23 May 2015
Rising defence budgets have fuelled a sizable naval buildup in Southeast Asia. As a result, countries surrounding the South China Sea have acquired new military capabilities that could make conflict in the region, should it occur, potentially more lethal.
Growing defense budgets have underwritten a sizable arms buildup in Southeast Asia since around the turn of the century. Regional navies have particularly benefited from this increase in military expenditures. As a result, many Southeast Asian navies are in the process of transforming themselves from modest forces oriented mainly toward coastal defence to modern fleets capable of projecting considerable firepower into local “green waters”.
As the IMDEX Asia maritime defence exposition takes place in Singapore this week, it would be appropriate at this time to reflect upon the impact of rising defence budgets and their impact on regional naval modernisation.
… Richard A. Bitzinger is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Formerly with the RAND Corp. and the Defence Budget Project, he has been writing on defence industries and the global arms trade for more than 20 years. This is part of a series on the IMDEX Asia International Maritime Defence Exposition in Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 18/11/2015