By Stingray, this blog national security journalist
Where do nuclear bomb ambition starts? In Thailand it is at a shopping center.
At a shopping center, Siam Center, next to and belonging to the right-wing extreme royalist and nationalist university, Chula, numerous physics tutoring schools have been attracting loads of students for over 10 years now.
So where is the danger in that? The danger is that Thailand have had a long running tradition of right-wing conservative rule, with a foreign policy that is increasing aggressive and assertive.
Consider the following equation: Far right university cutting edge physics graduates-Extreme Nationalism and Extreme Royalism, Military involvement in politics, aggressive foreign policy, and an assertive attitude-does the equation spell nuclear bomb potential?
Thailand is current in a state of diplomatic war with Cambodia, a small country compared to Thailand-with the military going public as saying Thailand will win a war with Cambodia if it breaks out. Cautioning the Thais, is the argument that Thailand is isolated globally and France is backing Cambodia, and ready to come to aid Cambodia militarily.
What is the solution to address this French-like situation? Obviously, it is something to nuturalize this type of threat.
But while the formula spells danger, how capable are the Thais at making a nuclear bomb?
Well, in Thailand, there has been a small reactor now in place for over 10 years. And Thailand is now determined to have nuclear power. The only thing stopping it, is the location of the power plant.
But are the Thais smart enough to enrich uranium, the key ingredients of a nuclear bomb? That answer to that question is undoubtedly “Yes.” But the key question is who will stop Thailand, if indeed it has that ambition?
The answer is that little can be done.
The Thai economy is increasing driven by global trade and investments, but the majority of those global-linked businesses are not Thais. Therefore, economic pressure will not likely work, especially when nationalism and royalism can by hyped up by the government, such as is being demonstrated in the Thai Cambodian rift.
Diplomatic pressure will likely fail also, as the current Thai Cambodia rift has indicated that even with all the diplomatic community in Thailand, including ASEAN, is against the Thai position on Cambodia-but yet the Thai government refused to budge.
But still, is this threat real or an illusion?
All the ingredients are there, and the Thai government and economy is mow the second largest in ASEAN. So the money is there. Of danger is also that Thailand’s inner workings is highly secretive and the Thai military has large numbers of bases scattered across this big landed plot country.
So the ingredient for a directorate-type of a decision hidden away in some un-monitorable military base is also there.
You be the judge, if a country like Thailand should have a nuclear power plant or not?