As a major non-NATO ally, supporter of the U.S. war on terror, powerful force in the Southeast Asian region, and partner in over $20 billion in annual two-way trade with the U.S., the Kingdom of Thailand today faces a militant Islamic insurgency that has the potential to devastate regional stability and U.S. foreign policy. The solution to Thailand’s southern insurgency lies in a better understanding of the disenfranchised Muslim culture and its legitimate requirements for attention and development from the Thai government in Bangkok. It is in America’s interest to implement all the elements of national power to better help our ally. A change in policy regarding the employment of the U.S. military in support of Thailand’s insurgency is one step in the right direction. While improved military and police activities in the Thai south are only one of many tools required to fix the problem, they are nonetheless important and effective.
PacNet #35A – Use Special Forces in Thailand’s Troubled South
August 20, 2004