Thursday, October 25, 2018

Malaysia measures itself against Singapore?

I love reading other military bloggers especially those overseas, so that I can get a feel for what's going on in their nation's military.  It also gives some insight into the region.  With that in mind I've been trying to find several Pacific region bloggers to get a heads up on things.  Senang Diri writes a blog that I consider a must read.  His latest though kinda has me scratching my head. Check this out...
The Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM, Malaysian Armed Forces) has weathered the ups and downs of many economic cycles/crisis which have affected its defence budget.

Despite occasional bouts of belt-tightening, the ATM has scored noteworthy achievements in its transformation from a COIN-oriented to a full-spectrum conventional warfare force.

Shrewd defence planning by committed ATM staff officers willing to challenge conventional thinking has resulted in the following features that make the Malaysian war machine a force to be reckoned with:

* Tentara Darat (Malaysian Army) is the region's biggest user of M134 7.62mm miniguns (Indonesia's TNI is number 2). With a rate of fire of 50 rounds per second, the minigun is an ideal weapon for the ATM's anti-invasion block force.

* Malaysia will operate the smallest attack helicopter in Southeast Asia, the MD-530G Little Bird. Pound for pound, the yet-to-be-delivered Little Bird will be the region's most heavily-armed attack helo. Its diminutive size makes it ideal for out-of-base operations in jungle/plantation landing pads.

* TUDM is armed with the region's fastest anti-radiation missile, the Russian-made supersonic Kh-31P missile, tailored made to hunt and neutralise integrated air defence networks.
Sounds like the usual 'rah rah' blogpost that we all occasionally write huh?  Well stand by cause this is where I began scratching my head.
 * The ATM has far lower rates of myopia among its warfighters than the SAF compared to a neighbouring country.

* Malaysia has more hard copy and digital defence periodicals than Singapore to win hearts and minds.

* ATM's psywar network has amassed hard-won experience from the two emergencies.

* Malaysian forces are among the few in the world to have fought and defeated a communist insurgency.

* Jungle warfare expertise of ATM is world-renowed.

Malaysia is measuring itself against Singapore.  Not Japan, S. Korea, the Philippines or Indonesia but Singapore.

That's disturbing.  I thought they had good relations but its obvious that there is a simmering rivalry that still exists.

This is why its so hard to form a multinational alliance in the Pacific.  The rivalries are legion.  They might view China with suspicion but they view each other as real threats.  We can all exercise together but every military man knows that the person they train with today could easily be the person they fight tomorrow.  That's just the reality of things.  It applies double in the Pacific.

Partnership missions was all the rage and its still lingering.  Instead of more military to military exchanges, maybe the State Dept needs to step up and work on forging some real alliances.

This thing with rivalries in the Pacific is beyond the Pentagon's ability to solve alone.

Read the whole article here.

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