Deterrence and Diplomacy

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Diplomacy is the way countries manage or conduct relations with one another. Its main aim is to resolve conflicting interests in a peaceful manner. Diplomacy is necessary because countries in the world rarely exist alone. Countries are connected to one another through political, historical and cultural relations. International trade and tourism have also enhanced the inter-connectedness among countries. Diplomacy enables countries to cooperate together to solve common problems such as transnational terrorism, SARS and the avian flu. It also helps to resolve conflicts, differences and disagreements peacefully. Diplomacy also allows countries to help each other in times of crisis. Diplomacy is conducted mainly through bilateral, regional and international relations. Deterrence refers to measures taken by countries to prevent and protect themselves from threats. These threats may be carried out by countries or non-state aggressors such as transnational terrorists. Some deterrence measures to deter aggressors include maintaining military installations, carrying out military exercises, installing CCTV cameras at train stations and sharing information among countries. Deterrence is necessary to give the citizens of a country a sense of security and to attract and retain foreign investors. It is essential for the survival of a small state like Singapore. In recent years, Deterrence has become more important than diplomacy. Diplomacy is always the first approach that countries take to resolve conflicts because it is much less devastating than starting a full-scale military conflict. However, given that terrorism is on the rise in the region and that Singapore has been singled out as a target, there is a need to demonstrate military strength in order to deter potential aggressors. Terrorist activities have the potential to cause widespread panic and devastation to Singapore’s economy and society. Since terrorists are driven by strong ideological beliefs, no amount of...
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