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Defense Profile for Singapore
Flag of Singapore Singapore
Population: 4,353,893 (July 2004 est.)
Capital: Singapore
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Backgrounds: Singapore Defense

Singapore relies primarily on its own defense forces, which are continuously being modernized. The defense budget accounts for approximately 28% of government operating expenditures (or 5% of GDP). A career military force of 12,100 is supplemented by 37,900 persons on active National Service, which is compulsory for able-bodied young men, and another 225,000 reservists. The Singapore Armed Forces engage in joint training with all the ASEAN nations and with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and India.

Singapore is a member of the Five-Power Defense Arrangement together with the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia. Intended to replace the former defense role of the British in the Singapore-Malaysia area, the arrangement obligates members to consult in the event of external threat and provides for stationing Commonwealth forces in Singapore.

Singapore has consistently supported a strong U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. In 1990, the United States and Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which allows United States access to Singapore facilities at Paya Lebar Airbase and the Sembawang wharves. Under the MOU, a U.S. Navy logistics unit was established in Singapore in 1992; U.S. fighter aircraft deploy periodically to Singapore for exercises, and a number of U.S. military vessels visit Singapore. The MOU was amended in 1999 to permit U.S. naval vessels to berth at the Changi Naval Base, which was completed in early 2001. In October 2003, Singapore and the U.S. announced their intention to expand cooperation in defense and security, and to negotiate a Framework Agreement for a Strategic Cooperation Partnership.

Country References
Country profile data for Singapore

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Data Source: US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs.