Peer-reviewed (refereed)


2017. "Threats and civil-military relations: Explaining Singapore's "trickle down" military innovation", Defense and Security Analysis, 33 (4): pp. 347-365


This article explains why Singapore, despite its small size and semi-authoritarian regime, retains one of the best military forces in the Indo-Pacific. It unpacks Singapore's ability to continuously innovate since the 1960s--technologically, organizationally, and conceptually--and even recently joined the Revolution in Military Affairs bandwagon. Drawing from the broader military innovation studies literature, this article argues evolutionary peacetime military innovation is more likely to occur in a state with a unified civil- military relation and whose military faces a high-level diverse set of threats. This argument explains how the civil-military fusion under the People’s Action Party-led government since Singapore's founding moment has been providing coherent and consistent strategic guidance, political support, and financial capital, allowing the Singapore Armed Forces to continuously innovate in response to high levels and diversity of threats.

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2009. "Rethinking Political Supremacy in War: A Review Essay of Clausewitz and Huntington", Pointer: Journal of the Singapore Armed Forces, 34 (4): pp. 57 – 66


This review article is meant to unlock the traditional foundation of civil-military relations, i.e. political supremacy, expressed in Huntington’s work. This would mainly be done by reviewing the thinking of Clausewitz on political supremacy, whom Huntington drew his philosophical foundation from. This article argues that first, Clausewitz’s Trinitarian concept of war--hostility, chance, political purpose--does not portray policy as more dominant than the other tendencies; instead, it presents them as equals, stressing only each one’s uniqueness in relation to the others. Second, Huntington’s misinterpretation of On War might have resulted from his use of a 1943 faulty translation of the book, coupled with his political ideology and inclinations to solve the problems facing the US at that time

This article is included in the online Clausewitz Bibliography compiled by Christopher Bassford.



Book reviews


Who Wins? Predicting Strategic Success and Failure in Armed Conflict by Patricia L. Sullivan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. 177pp.,

Reviewed in Political Studies Review, Vol. 12, No. 2 (2014): pp. 283-284


This short book is an ambitious attempt to tackle some of the big questions in the field of international security. Why do great powers lose wars against much weaker opponents? Under what conditions can actors employ military force to achieve their political objectives? Why do actors decide to go to war and what determines their ability to prevail?


Neorealism, States, and the Modern Army by Joao Resende-Santos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp.334.

Reviewed in Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 45, No. 3 (2012), pp. 431-4


This book’s chief value lies in being the first systematic attempt to provide a building block to our understanding of cross-national military diffusion and emulation, an under-developed and under-studied subject, and its attempt to refine Waltzian neo-realist theory