Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 5 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

U.S. Makes Overture to Thailand: We need You as an Ally; A Democratic Ally

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
February 19, 2007

In a major show of support for the Thai government, the United States has decided to proceed with the largest annual joint Thai-US military exercise, "Cobra Gold."

Military analysts and observers were worried that since the bloodless military coup in Thailand last September 19, that removed the democratically elected government of Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, the United States would cancel the exercise.

At the time of the coup, the United States condemned the coup leaders as persons not respectful of democracy.

The coup prompted the US to suspend 24 million dollars in military aid to Thailand.

The US decision to proceed with the exercise is seen in Thailand as a sort of validation that the Thai government has demonstrated that it is on the right track back to democracy.

Thai government officials of Thailand have repeatedly said that they fully intend to return to democracy. Just recently, they lifted martial law at forst imposed during the coup upon most of the country.

Thailand continues to be troubled by an ugly Muslim separtist revolt in its southern provinces. Seven were killed in the south during Lunar New Year celebrations in southern Thailand this last week end.

The Cobra Gold military exercises will take place from May 8-18 in eastern Thailand, said Chanchaiyan Srisuwan, the Thai army's chief of joint operations.

"The Cobra Gold exercises have been in the works the entire time" since the coup, Chanchaiyan said.

There heave been virtually no diplomatic exchanges between Thailand and the United States since the coup. But in the interim, China has made inroads into the relationship between the US and China.

China opened a more lively discussion of military matters with Thailand after the coup and the apparent US cut-off. Senior officials from Thailand visited China and China reciprocated. China also offered Thailand $49 million worth of military aid and training.Now the us has apparently decided that Thailand is not an ally it is willing to lose.

"Look, they fully intend to return to democracy," a senior US diplomat told us of Thailand. "Cobra Gold is good for both parties. The relationship between the US and Thailand is many decades old. We'll resolve any wrinkles we have. Just wait."

Wantanee in Bangkok contributed to this report.

Visit us at:
Rate It | View Ratings

John Carey Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Myanmar Shuns Best Hope For People

Human Rights Issues In Communist Southeast Asia: Red Alert

Memorial Day History, Tradition, Honor: Remembering the Fallen

Persian Gulf Ship Inspectors-- The Brits Captured by Iran

World Alzheimer's Awareness day

Baker, Hamilton Commission on Iraq Reports

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend