By Stingray, this blog national security journalist
There is no doubt, underlying it all, Thailand’s army chief Anupong mean well for Thailand. The Yellow Shirt so destabilized Taksin’s government, that Anupong had no choice but to step in and got Nevin to defect away from Taksin and to prop up the Abhisit government.
The Immediate problem:
That immediate problem solved, as any human being would do, Anupong used that relationship, to consolidate his control of the military-as the military is highly politicized and therefore, that also means Anupong need a strong political base.
Then now the question is, after solving the destabilization achieved, and then now, his position in the military solidified, what is Anupong next step?
Anupong Faces Some Hurdles:
There are some important hurdles ahead for Anupong. First, new way of thinking, particularly the Democratic Soldier Argument, is gaining traction in the military. Then second, Thai politics is highly fluid, and thus Anupong must maintain somewhat of an open position to changing political winds. Then again, thirdly, while Nevin could have the political base for reach the top in Thai politics, sadly, the fact is, the public will never accept someone with Nevin stature as the prime minister.
Anupong’s Bottom Line:
Then also on Anupong mind, perhaps is the fact that he now understands, that the military bottom line, which is equipment to modernize the Thai armed forces, is very much a political solution-and the bottom line here is that he must always exert threat on the civilian government to gain the most here. Therefore, linking the army to a any certain political party, is a sure recipe for future disruption.
All of the above factors, combined to indicate that Nevin, is nothing more than a tactical move to accomplish certain task. Underlying it all, however, is not Nevin’s interest, but the interest of the country and the army.
Nevin the Slave:
Meanwhile, Nevin himself, while in very much control of the Defense Minister political philosophy thinking, that have seen the minister ordering the military to crackdown on the internet, right after Nevin said he will focus worshiping Thailand’s highest institution, basically, have little influence on Anupong-fundamentally.
This means Nevin only connection to Anupong, is one way only and that is in serving Anupong’s interest.
Taksin Poses a Question:
Meanwhile, Taksin, Nevin arch enemy, have direct link into the foundation of the military. And Taksin has a massive political base. Apart from that, Taksin has over and over, called for peace and negotiation.
This certainly indicates Taksin carry little grudges, against people who have made him lose grip of the government, meaning mainly Aunpong. Taksin also have a track record or leaving the military to do what it wants with appointments, and have always been supportive of military spending.
Where is the Foundation?
Taking all consideration as a whole, it appears that the relationship between Anupong and Nevin is what the Thais call “Chapokij” or situational. Meanwhile, underlying that Chapokij, are some under-currents that may see Anupong, the moderate quiet and always thinking commander of the Thai army, to quietly be making some accommodation, for the interest of the Thai arm forces.
Especially, political wise, to have Abhisit threaten to change the defense minister, clearly indicates a serious spike of warning, that the military is again under threat from a rising power of politicians.