In 1802, Thomas Jefferson stated, "A spirit of justice and friendly accommodation is our duty and our interest to cultivate with all nations". Senior Leaders should gain pertinent information about the country of Singapore and the significant importance of United States and Singapore relations, because the military has shifted forces and structure to focus on the Asian Pacific area in the coming years. This paper will cover the background, government structure, strategic importance, and the future direction of Singapore.
Singapore is an island located in Southeast Asia, and founded by the British East India Company in 1819. Singapore started as a British colony, joined the Malaysian Federation, and became independent in 1963. The island has a population of approximately 4.7 million people, and is located at narrow point of the Straits of Malacca off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. The main island is 42 kilometers long and 23 kilometers wide, with a coastline spanning 138 kilometers (Congress, n.d.). The climate is tropical and the terrain is mostly flat with scattered hills. The highest elevation is approximately 540 feet. Chinese makes up the majority of the population in Singapore, and the primary language is Malay. "Economic prosperity and political stability are associated with the national culture, as is the Singaporean concept kiasu which means afraid to lose" (Brogger, n.d.). There are five stars on the National flag of Singapore, which stand for justice, equality, democracy, peace, and progress (Central Intelligence Agency). Singapore's culture resembles several Asian values such as emphasizing respect of elders, and placing the country and society over oneself. Singapore fought tremendously to survive for the first several years after declaring their independence. Singapore struggled with crime, poor infrastructure, unemployment, and communist uprisings. After several years, the government created laws to maintain political control, lowered taxes to attract foreign trade, and built a solid infrastructure to transform Singapore from a poor country to a player in virtually every world market. All residents of Singapore are required to be bilingual in English and an Asian dialect. English is the primary language for conducting business in the country. A developed education system exists in Singapore, and models the structure of the Britain's school system. Education focuses on science and technology. Singapore's background is rich in Asian culture, but their government models the British government.
The government in Singapore operates on a Parliament style system with a constitution based on the British model. Singapore has an elected President, Prime Minister, and a Parliament consisting of 87 members representing the Country regions. The three branches of the government are executive, legislative, and judiciary. The Cabinet heads the executive branch of the...