Singapore Works With Swedish Defence Research Agency to Monitor Threats

Singapore’s Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Experimentation Centre (REC) has been working with overseas partners since August this year to enhance its capabilities to tackle various threats. One of its latest experiments is with the Swedish Defence Research Agency to monitor ‘pre-event indicators’.
Chong Chan Meng, Head of REC, said: “What we are doing is trying to identify which are the pre-attack events that could indicate to us that such an event is brewing. So by tracking these events, we are breaking down the main event into smaller problems that the agencies can track and address.”
At the official launch of the REC on October 16, 2007 Permanent Secretary of National Security and Intelligence Coordination, Mr Peter Ho, reminded Singaporeans that the key is to be prepared for any uncertainty.
He said: “We will need to learn new ways to view the world as well as the challenges facing Singapore and train ourselves to leverage on new tools and technologies that will help us make sense of what is happening.
“In this increasingly complex and uncertain world, we must get used to the idea that it may often not be possible to determine the correct approach in the beginning.”
Although Singapore has been practising long-term and strategic planning for a while now, tools like scenario planning have been found to be insufficient.
In fact, Singapore’s experience with SARS in 2003 convinced the authorities of the need for a horizon scanning capability.
Besides counter-terrorism, the centre will also address the challenges of pandemic flu and climate change – issues which are of worldwide concern today.


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