17 October 2016
Being a small island-nation with busy and congested waterways, Singapore faces significant maritime security challenges, in particular maritime terrorism which is a common threat also faced by neighbouring states. Hence information sharing, international and inter-agency collaboration constitute the way ahead for a collective solution against such challenges.
The arrest of six militants in neighbouring Batam, Indonesia reminded Singapore of the asymmetric and unconventional threat it can face from the region. While the plausibility of the threat of a rocket attack from Batam Island continues to be analysed, one should also look at other modalities that the militants could have used to overcome range and accuracy factors, for example bringing the weapon closer by means of vessels at sea.
Other threats like “floating bomb” by hijacked sensitive vessels or explosive-laden small boats intent on ramming high-value targets, remain concerns. The recent missiles purportedly fired by Houthi rebels at the USS Mason and USS Ponce from the Yemeni coast is another example of how non-professionally trained fighting forces can attempt to wreak havoc.
… Bernard Miranda was the first Director of the National Maritime Operations Group-SMCC from 2011 to 2015. He is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Maritime Security Programme of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 18/10/2016