Sunday, July 31, 2011

IS DEFENCE PROCUREMENT A MILITARY SECRET?

UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin has said that while he supports the Freedom of Information Act, he however cautioned ‘that several areas need to be excluded in the interest of national security, such as defence procurement’. I suppose what Khairy meant by defence procurement are the procurements made for capital items only and not the procurement of common user items that numbers by the hundreds.

If I may be permitted to get into a discourse concerning this matter, I would say that there is absolutely no reason for us to treat the procurement of a capital item for the Armed Forces as a matter of national security, which has to be kept a secret. And to say that “no country will disclose specifications” of their defence procurement is also not quite right either.

I based the above argument to one simple reasoning i.e. that today our Armed Forces is a nett importer of all major defence procurement i.e. from the basic small arms weapon (I am referring to an indigenously designed and developed weapons) to the largest of the weaponries, ships and aircrafts. Because we depend entirely on a foreign purchase for our military hardware, we therefore have to reveal our technical specification for customization (which is quite usual), without which the manufacturer could do nothing. Once our specifications are known to the manufacturer, the entire world will have full knowledge of it and this can then be available from the internet, defence magazines etc. Just have a look at Jane’s military magazines and every bit of detail can be obtained from the magazine. Or go and search the internet for any piece of military hardware and you will be surprised at the volume of information available including technical specifications. Even the country’s force level can be obtained from the internet and so what secret are we talking about?

Even for neighboring Singapore that has gone into the development and manufacturing of its own military hardware cannot strictly keep their specification a secret. Likewise, the same will apply to us if we are already into development and manufacturing, which presently we are far from it.

I think what is more important each time the Armed Forces make a new procurement is to see how the newly acquired military hardware is employed given a specific military operational environment or the future battle field environment. In a more simple term, it is the tactical employment or the optimal use of the military hardware to successfully support a battle plan. It is pointless to procure something that cannot support a battle plan, however sophisticated the hardware. It is likened to someone purchasing a Ferrari sports car and driving it along a road that is not surfaced and filled with pot holes. Surely the Ferrari sports car cannot perform for what it is constructed for i.e. speed.

And to Khairy, we can forgive him for saying something that he is not too familiar with, for the short stint of military training is certainly not sufficient for him to be an expert in military affairs. It is certainly more than just being able to use a rifle.

I would therefore conclude to say that it is how one develops the tactical use of the newly acquired military hardware that should be kept a ‘secret’, and not the specification of the military hardware itself.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

5 comments:

aofuad said...

Dato Pak Chad,
I like the comparison about the Ferrari in Kelantan,where "the roads are narrow and full of cow shit",how to drive fast? Or a nearer comparison,in KL, with all the traffic jams, Ferraris are for weekend use only..

EAGLE said...

Dato'
Agree with you that we can forgive KJ after all he was only taught the drill and using the rifles.
But just to tell him that next time jangan over confident sangat sebab pesan orang tua kalau tak tahu ke tak faham ke bertanya lah!
See how dangerous can it be when someone think that his short stint with the army has made him into an all rounded military men, a true soldier.
Alahai KJ... berangan nak
jadi Menteri Pertahanan pulak!
Remember... Liddle Hart on Clausewitz "the teaching of Clausewitz, taken without understanding, largely influence the causation and the character of WW 1. Thereby it lead on, all too logically, to WW 11."
You know what I mean sir, Anyway Salam Ramadan...

apek ironside said...

Salam Dato,

totally agree with what you wrote here, don think khairy read any defense magazines, ha....frankly, all our weapons and deployment are no secret in the eye of superpowers and their alliances, some more we are buying from them, it is only secretive in the eye of the ordinary folks or purposely mystifying to close people mouth, hahaha....

the most important five basic principles in the Arts of War already conformed? don think so....the more "3 suku" of the outsider weapons bought the easier targets they become in total war...see all the wars fought in this decade, then can be concluded the modus-operandi of the superpowers are espionage (registered all the key targets), create some reasons to right the moral in starting the war, highly accurate fire to destroy all the logistic targets, troops deployment and decapitate the leader, then calvary or mech infantries move in to secure the ground, see now what happen in libya....gaddafi troops will be exhausted anyway, the only different is to allow the rebel army doing the ground work so that the morality of the topple act can be stayed right in the future.

now they are yeah-yeahing talking about blue ocean strategy in training pdrm and army recruits together, hopefully they don come out with something more funny later with the name of BOS...haiya...no place to hide when the storm came also...

WaliMuar said...

Anak orang kaya mana nak masuk askar.Yang masuk askar ni semuanya atau kebanyakan anak orang susuah,orang kampong,tak berpelajaran tinggi.KJ belajar kat Oxford dan dari golongan berada, masuk askar bukan nak berperang cuma nak glamour aje........atau popularity.

mitchell said...

All said and done about military hardware procurements, I still hold and believe that the spirit, determination and bravery of all military men and women holds the ultimate key to victory. Such was the case in "Black Hawk Down" where the US with all its military might have our Malaysians troops to thank for rescueing. I for one have always had the faith in our troops. Used to play hockey against RAMD, they lack certain amount of skill but made it up with their desire to win, surely part of their training in the army.
Dato, yr views on joint training with PDRM, i feel two different roles and responsibilty is compromised.
God Bless