By Stingray, this blog national security journalist
Sources in Thai Calvary units said that Prem, who is spending a great deal of time at Saraburi, Thailand’s main Calvary stationed province, is angry that his wishes for the formation of the 3rd calvary army, is getting little traction from the government.
“Perm wants this right away because of the Cambodian and Malaysian situation, and he has personally drawn up the detail plan for bringing Thailand’s Calvary up to NATO standard,” said the calvary source. Currently Thailand main battle tanks are of Vietnam era being the M48 and M60.
The detailed plan, as much as was revealed to this blog, includes, purchasing about 120 NATO grade main battle tanks, with Israeli tank and UK tanks the front runners. The plan also sees the purchase of about 20 of the most modern helicopters gunships. The approximate total cost as have been proposed to the Abhisit government is US$3 billion.
Answering this blog if this is the right timing since the globe is in a economic slump, the source said, “Prem told Abhisit that Thailand’s national security can’t be compromised any longer as spending on the military had been going down for over 25 years and it is now or never.” The source added that economics has been used as an excuse for far too long and Thailand is now having to play “Catching up.”
“If you can spend US$12 billion building and paving roads in this economic situation, you can certainly spend US3 billion making sure the roads are not full of foreign tanks,” said the source. Thailand is in a logistics drive, with major roads linking the entire mainland of South East Asia together, from China down to Malaysia.
“Abhisit is saying no, but Prem is pushing hard, because of Cambodia and Malaysian Calvary capabilities are way up and Prem says he will not allow other countries to be able to pressure or threat Thailand,” said the source.
The source said if Abhisit keeps refusing, “Heads will Roll.” Prem is the key advisor to Thailand’s palace and is an influential figure in Thailand’s politics and military affairs. While much hated by the forces of democracy, liberty and social-justice in Thailand, Prem nevertheless is a Hawk whan it comes to national security.
Thailand currently has 2 calvary armies. And Prem has had a dream most of his military life to see the Thai Calvary units beformed under one central command. That means a third Calvary army. Speculation has it that Abhisit, the Thai prime minister, is trying to average out the forces from other Calvary units to form the third-and to buy what is necessary at the bare minimum.