In Brief: Singapore’s Formidable class frigates

N.R. Jenzen-Jones The Republic of Singapore frigate RSS Formidable (68) during a formation exercise for RIMPAC 2012. Singapore’s Formidable class frigates are considered amongst the most advanced surface combatants in Southeast Asia. Built around a substantially modified version of the French La Fayette class, they feature an advanced stealth design incorporating a range of Radar Cross-Section (RCS) reduction features.…

US drones and Indonesia-Australia relations

Indonesia has signalled its discontent with recent speculation in the Washington Post about American reconnaissance aircraft including Global Hawk drones flying from the Cocos Islands (a Australian territory located close to the Indonesian archipelago). Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Djoko Suyanto announced Indonesia had issued a protest note to the US and…

Australia-Malaysia relations: Mahathir’s ghost

This post originally appeared on the Lowy Institute’s blog The Interpreter and The Diplomat’s ASEAN Beat. Just to be clear, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not dead. In fact, the infamously direct style and strident anti-Westernism of the former Malaysian Prime Minister, lives on through current leader Najib Razak. During his visit to Australia earlier this month, Najib’s…

NATO-ASEAN relations: let’s get serious for a moment

A few weeks ago I attended a presentation by NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero during his recent visit to Australia. At its essence, his presentation “NATO in a Globalised World” at ANU (podcast here) was an opportunity to present NATO’s new Strategic Concept (PDF) and elaborate its components to an audience of strategic…