Thursday, December 29, 2016

SG: Small country in a hostile world

I shall begin by quoting from the story.
“The failure to see what was happening worries me quite deeply,” said Dr Shashi Jayakumar, Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
“Because if you look at the Singapore point of view, we are a small country and we are vulnerable. We cannot afford to be consistently and strategically surprised in that way.”
Years back in this blog I sometimes lamented that we are becoming less able at seeing threats over the horizon. Now we have someone lamenting the fact. We cannot offer what we do not have. What we can and must do is to understand what has changed and respond quickly which I briefly explained two days ago in a blog post.

Ambassador Chan was interviewed on the sideline of this program and CNA has made available a YouTube version.

"Small country", I get it immediately but "hostile world" there is another way to view it. It is hostile if developments are inimical to our plans and ambitions. If we adapt our plans to a changed environment and is prepared to do whatever it take to survive and prosper, we might discover the world is less hostile and after a while even be full of opportunities.

Look at how Kissinger himself is adapting to Trump. Now he praised Trump as 'a phenomenon that foreign countries haven't seen' and says his election is an 'extraordinary opportunity' See the story in the Daily Mail.

Kissinger is reshaping to so that he can remain relevant. We must do the same. Is Kissinger selling out? I don't think so but that is not easy to explain. The man has great depth and is easy to misunderstand him. Here is a good example published in Project Syndicate by Dominique Moisi (got to be an European eh): How Dr. Strangelove Learned to Love Trump.

If that is how Kissinger responded, I think his teacher the late LKY were he in charge would lead Singapore to make the necessary adjustments as well. What these might be I have not thought them through and perhaps might not know.

1 comment:

  1. Somehow I feel we had been on auto pilot for a long time. There are many changes we need to make both structural and our mindset. But can the incumbent do it what is necessary even at the expense of lossing power which sadly I don't think so. Enough rant and hopefully a better 2017 for all of us.