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Organization and Mission of the Armed Forces

In 1989 Prime Minister Lee continued to make most policy decisions concerning defense strategy and to approve the military budget. However, Goh Chok Tong, who served concurrently as first deputy prime minister and minister for defence, no doubt had the authority to decide most policy questions relating to the armed forces. He was assisted by two deputy defence ministers, one responsible for policy and the other for the organization of combat and combat support organizations. According to the Armed Forces Act of 1972, the minister for defence was to serve as the chairman of the Armed Forces Council and, in this capacity, was to assume responsibility for organizing and administering the armed forces and those government agencies having jurisdiction over military installations and defense industries.

In 1989, the Ministry of Defence was organized into a general staff for the army and six divisions responsible for the air force, navy, security and intelligence, logistics, manpower, and finance (see fig. 14). The air force and navy were largely autonomous and were commanded by a brigadier general and commodore, respectively. In wartime, the air force and navy would come under the operational control of the chief of the general staff, an army lieutenant general.

Data as of December 1989