In many ways, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) is a microcosm of the Singapore brand of government. The DNA of Singapore’s policymaking is its forward-looking nature. S. Rajaratnam’s trademark is taking the long view while Lee Kuan Yew articulated his wish for leadership foresight and the admiration for ‘helicopter quality’ candidates in policymaking. This was how RSIS’ mission began under the stewardship of the late President S. R. Nathan. RSIS began (as IDSS — i.e., the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies) in 1996 as a form of policymakers’ clairvoyant on security matters. To date, it is Singapore’s ‘frontline’ think tank on Asia-Pacific security, counter-terrorism, inter-religious dialogue and non-traditional security threats. The contributors in this edited volume, Forward Engagement: RSIS as a Think Tank of International Studies and Security in the Asia-Pacific, are the stalwarts of the RSIS mission for the past 20 years and the leading lights for the RSIS of the 21st century. These are their reflections for posterity as well as their forward projections for their quasi-diplomatic and intellectual roles in the service of Singapore’s national security.
Last updated on 28/08/2019