Singapore: potential dilemmas over US linksPosted: 31/07/2012
The United States will deploy up to four littoral combat ships to Singapore from 2013, Washington announced at the 2012 Shangri-La Dialogue. Against this backdrop, part of the Pentagon’s much-vaunted ‘rebalance to Asia-Pacific’, IISS-Asia Executive Director Dr Tim Huxley has been analysing the relationship between Singapore (above) and the US from the late 1960s. Writing in The Strategist, he points out that while casual onlookers may assume that the city-state is a US ally, in fact successive governments have preferred a slightly less formal, autonomous status.
Singapore appreciates the value of the United States’ presence in Asia. However, it is also aware of the need to display a degree of sensitivity towards its immediate neighbours. Its close defence relationship with the Pentagon ‘doesn’t imply that it would support any future US strategy aimed at containing China’.