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06BANGKOK5799 THAILAND COUP: IMPLEMENTING SANCTIONS

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“79077″,”9/20/2006 10:35″,”06BANGKOK5799″,

 

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,”VZCZCXRO0061

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INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE

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RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE

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RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1516″,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 005799

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR F, P, EAP

OSD FOR DASD/ISA

NSC FOR WILDER

PACOM FOR J00 AND FPA HUSO

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2021

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MARR, MASS, EAID, KDEM, PHUM, TH

SUBJECT: THAILAND COUP: IMPLEMENTING SANCTIONS

 

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

 

1. (C) Summary. The September 19 military coup in Thailand

clearly appears to mandate implementation of sanctions under

Section 508 of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act.

Subject to legal exemptions for programs such as the Peace

Corps, or those aimed at providing disaster assistance,

HIV/AIDS programs and other programs not benefiting the

military, Post supports the immediate suspension of

obligations or expenditures of funds under programs such as

International Military Education and Training (IMET), Foreign

Military Financing (FMF), the Economic Support Fund (ESF),

International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INL),

and others until the President determines and certifies to

Congress that a democratically elected government has taken

office. Post further proposes that those military programs

that are similar to initiatives subject to Section 508, but

not part of the Foreign Operations Act, also be suspended

until the installation of an acceptable interim civilian

caretaker government. These programs would include our

comprehensive military exercise program, and programs already

funded for maritime security under Section 1206 of the

National Defense Authorization Act of 2006. Although these

additional sanctions might only be in place for a brief

period, they will give the United States a useful tool to

prod the military-led Council for Democratic Reform under the

Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) to take necessary intermediate

steps resulting in a freely elected civilian government. The

first such step — appointment of an interim civilian

government — could take place in the next couple of weeks.

We believe that an official statement issued in Washington on

September 20 announcing that the United States is imposing

sanctions, to include the suspension of IMET and FMF, will

demonstrate our resolve to the CDRM. End Summary.

 

SECTION 508 SHOULD BE APPLIED

 

2. (C) This message is designed to assist Washington policy

makers in assessing the implications of Section 508 to the

coup situation in Thailand. Post fully expects and supports

a determination that 508 sanctions apply. Embassy Sections

are compiling data outlining the programs likely to be

affected. Among these are our IMET and FMF programs and law

enforcement programs funded by INL, ATA and others. We

understand that notwithstanding authority exists to shield

some programs, including the Peace Corps, Overseas Foreign

Disaster Assistance, USAID Operating Expenses, HIV/AIDS

programs, child survival programs and others from 508 and

that those programs in Thailand would likely not be

suspended. Post seeks guidance on whether regional programs

funded by INL and implemented by the International Law

Enforcement Academy (ILEA) would be subject to 508. (NOTE:

Most regional programs at ILEA include about 10 percent Thai

students with the remaining students coming from about a

dozen other countries. Post understands that there may be a

508 exemption for programs that benefit Thailand as part of a

larger regional activity. END NOTE).

 

CONSIDERATION FOR IMET

 

3. (C) Effective immediately, we have stopped sending Thai

soldiers to the United States on IMET programs. We

understand that Washington has leeway in determining whether

the suspension of IMET will necessitate that Thai soldiers

already in training programs in the United States must be

immediately withdrawn and sent back to Thailand. If

possible, we ask that students already in programs be allowed

to complete their course work. Although not subject to 508,

we likewise propose that no new Thai students be admitted to

the U.S. Service Academies until 508 sanctions are lifted but

request that students already enrolled at those schools be

allowed to complete their studies. Additionally, attendees

already enrolled in Counterterrorism Fellowship

Program-funded courses should continue until completion of

their course but Thai participation in future courses will be

suspended.

 

BANGKOK 00005799 002 OF 002

 

GOING BEYOND 508

 

4. (C) It will likely be months before Thailand will have a

democratically elected government and we can lift 508

sanctions. In order to give us intermediate measures to

encourage the Thai to respect democratic norms, we propose

also suspending other military programs, the suspension of

which will not jeopardize vital U.S. national interests,

until the Thai install an acceptable interim civilian

caretaker government. As part of these additional sanctions,

we propose notifying the Thai that we will stop all planning

and execution of military exercises, including Cobra Gold,

until an acceptable civilian transition government is in

place. Although these sanctions would place a tremendous

burden on exercise planners who are shaping Cobra Gold 07,

Cope Tiger, CARAT and other major exercises, we believe

flexible sanctions that can be removed prior to the lifting

of 508 sanctions will provide us with appropriate interim

measures to demonstrate to the Thai military the consequences

of their actions. As part of this collection of sanctions,

we propose suspending the implementation of regional maritime

security programs authorized by Section 1206 of the National

Defense Authorization Act of 2006. We hope that the CDRM

will quickly install an acceptable interim civilian

government that would allow us to remove these secondary

sanctions.

 

PROGRAMS WE WANT TO SHIELD

 

5. (C) Some of our security assistance programs in Thailand

are vitally important to U.S. interests. Included among

these are the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and

Evaluation System (PISCES) being implemented at Thai ports of

entry to monitor travelers entering and exiting the country,

the U.S. Military Information Support Team (MIST) with Civil

Affairs augmentation developing a psyops strategy for Thai

soldiers countering insurgents in Southern Thailand, and

discreet bilateral training to assist Thai soldiers rotating

to the South to identify and disarm IEDs. We believe that

these benign and non-lethal programs, which we understand are

not subject to 508, should be exempt from any sanctions we

impose and request Washington concurrence. The Global Peace

Operations Initiative (GPOI) is another program we should

continue to support, as Thailand is scheduled to host the

GPOI CAPSTONE event in May 2007, with participation from five

other countries.

 

A CLEAR STATEMENT ON SANCTIONS

 

6. (C) Post is compiling a more comprehensive list of

programs likely subject to 508 and secondary sanctions to

assist decision makers in Washington analyze the probable

impact of sanctions. While recognizing the difficulty

associated with approving sanctions, Post hopes Washington

can issue a clear statement on September 20 announcing that

the United States has suspended a number of security

assistance programs to Thailand in response to the coup

(Septel will provide Post\’s suggested language). Such a

statement, coupled with serious 508 sanctions that will not

be removed until the President can assure Congress that a

democratic government is in place — and other sanctions that

can be removed once an acceptable interim civilian government

is in office — will demonstrate U.S. commitment to a return

to democracy in Thailand.

BOYCE

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Written by thaicables

July 13, 2011 at 5:49 am

Posted in Confidential, Coup 2006

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