thaicables – It's Your Right to know the Truth!

05BANGKOK 2743 AMBASSASOR DISCUSSES SECURITY ISSUES WITH DEFMIN: SOUTH THAILAND, OIF, F-16 ET AL

leave a comment »

“31212”,”4/21/2005 10:32″,”05BANGKOK2743″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,”05BANGKOK2010″,

“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002743

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/BCLTV

DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA (POWERS AND STERN). PLEASE PASS TO

DSCA/AP (NMORGAN)

PACOM FOR FPA HUSO

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/20/2015

TAGS: MASS, MARR, PREL, PGOV, TH, IRAQ, Southern Thailand, BURMA, POL/MIL

SUBJECT: AMBASSASOR DISCUSSES SECURITY ISSUES WITH DEFMIN:

SOUTH THAILAND, OIF, F-16 ET AL.

 

REF: BANGKOK 2010

 

Classified By: Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce. Reason 1.4 (a and d)

 

1. (C) In an April 20 meeting with the Ambassador, Defense

Minister Gen. Thamarak Isarangura Na Ayutthaya welcomed the

recent Iraqi elections and noted his long-held belief that

setting up the Iraqi Government will reduce anti-American

violence there. The Ambassador noted keen interest in

Washington in having Thailand renew its support of OIF.

Thamarak stated that much of the unrest in the predominately

Muslim far southern part of Thailand could be reduced by

improving education and social programs there. He also noted

the need to expose southerners to the rest of the country

saying it was more important for Thai soldiers from the far

south to be posted in other, more developed parts of the

country, than it was to have them posted closer to home.

Thamarak said that, on an official level, Thailand\’s

relations with Malaysia are good, but acknowledged problems

at the local level where illicit trade often fosters

corruption. The Ambassador expressed his condolences over

the recent killing of a Thai Border Patrol officer along the

Burmese border. Thamarak noted the hazard of serving along

the Thai-Burma border and the violence caused by Wa Deng,

Shan State and Burmese regular forces. The Ambassador made a

strong pitch for Thailand to select F-16 block 52 in its

upcoming fighter purchase. In response to Thamarak

suggesting that the financial aspects of the fighter deal are

the most important, the Ambassador reminded Thamarak that

Lockheed Martin is offering 100 percent offsets as part of

its package. END SUMMARY.

 

IRAQ

 

2. (C) Thamarak began the meeting by congratulating the

United States on helping to bring about a fair election in

Iraq. He told the Ambassador that he had been a long

advocate of quickly turning over power to the Iraqis and

suggested that anti-American violence in Iraq should decrease

as a result. The Ambassador noted keen U.S. interest in

having Thailand renew its commitment to help in Iraq, perhaps

by sending staff officers to man the international

headquarters for OIF.

 

VIOLENCE IN THE SOUTH

 

3. (C) Turning to the continued violence in Thailand\’s

southernmost region, Thamarak noted the danger of outside

influences in the south like Wahhabism and expressed his

personal belief that the best long-term solution to the

problem is to improve social services and the education

system in southern Thailand. He said that the Peacekeeping

and Prosperity Command is working well, but still sorting out

roles and duties. In response to the Ambassador\’s question

whether local Muslim soldiers are in Thai Army units serving

in the south, Thamarak said that some are, but went on to say

that he thought more young men from the South serving in the

Royal Thai Army would benefit by serving in other parts of

Thailand and learning the importance of modernization and

development.

 

THAI-MALAYSIA BORDER ISSUES

 

4. (C) Thamarak claimed that official relations between

Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur were quite good. Nonetheless, the

situation on the border was cause for concern. Given the

large amount of illegal border traffic, corruption and graft

are major concerns, he noted.

 

BURMA

 

5. (C) The Ambassador offered his condolences for the

recent killing of a Thai Border Police officer serving along

the Burmese border. Thamarak noted the difficulties Thai

officers have serving along — facing possible violence from

the Wa Deng, the Shan State Army and Burmese regulars. He

also pointed out geographic anomalies that sometimes cause

parts of Thai territory along the border to be bordered on

three sides by Burma. Sometimes, Thais living or serving in

those areas are killed in cross-fire between rival Burmese

groups. The Ambassador pointed out that RTG policy towards

Burma is not well-received in the West, where it is sometimes

construed as propping up Rangoon\’s junta. Thamarak

acknowledged this but pointed out that critics don\’t live in

Thailand\’s neighborhood.

 

F-16

 

6. (C) The Ambassador made a strong case for Thailand

selecting F-16 in its upcoming planned purchase of 18 new

fighters. Thamarak noted that F-16 was the preferred

candidate of most RTAF officers over rivals SAAB Gripen and

Sukhoi SU-30, but that the RTG had little money for the

purchase and would thus be most influenced by the financial

aspects of any possible deal. The Ambassador seized on this

point and reminded Thamarak that Lockheed Martin was prepared

to offer 100 percent commercial offsets to assist with the

fighter purchase.

 

BOYCE

Advertisements

Written by thaicables

July 7, 2011 at 5:14 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: