Photo of Lee Hsien Loong and Obama from AFP

Without Parliament approval, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong committed to send SAF soldiers to Iraq. An unknown number of Singapore Armed Force (SAF) soldiers will be deployed in Iraq from 2017 onwards. According to Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore will provide a medical support team and a new unit, Army Deployment Force (ADF), to assist in the protection of the troops.

According to state media CNA:
“The ADF is a rapid response anti-terrorist unit the size of a battalion that comprises highly trained soldiers with niche capabilities.”

An estimated number would be no less than 400 soldiers, and it is unknown whether if NSF conscripts – NSFs and NS men – will be deployed. The decision to send troops to Iraq will also put Singapore higher up on the list of terrorism targets, although no terrorist has any success in the small country so far.

Singapore’s army has never engaged in real combact and its military headcounts are mostly citizen conscripts. It’s military strength is untested but the SAF leadership is notorious for screwing up business ventures in the private sector.

The move to send troops to Iraq is perceived as brown-nosing United States, and a bargaining chip to push for TPP. However, not every US-led military operation is justified. In 2003, former US President George Bush fabricated weapons of mass destruction evidence to invade Iraq.