Politics: Intelligence Brief for January 2010 as Thailand heads into a new year

There is no secrets in Siam

By Stingray, this blog national security journalist

Intelligence: Army’s “Red Shirt Grassroots Busting Program” failing badly

Analysis: The so called Red Shirt busting psychological warfare at the grassroots level to the extent that videos of Red Shirt activities are used to pin-point villages for intense activity has failed as the military now believes any election, will still see the Red Shirt winning the election. The problem is that the Thai King’s sufficiency theory, to break the poor memory of Taksin, that is a major part of the effort, is being countered by the poor who says you need to be rich enough to be sufficient.

Intelligence: Sae Daeng and Panlop threatens Anupong

Analysis: The two are threatening Anumpong with the potential of an open revolt in the Thai military, and if that fails, by a revolt of former soldiers on the street of Bangkok. But the most threatening to Anupong is that the Red Shirt is getting a massive injection of military type of command and control in its movement-and while they say they are peaceful, the Red Shirt is looking a lot like the Yellow Shirt.

Intelligence: Thai Defense Minister wants to resign but can not

Analysis: Thai Defense Minister wants to resign for many reasons, but namely over the Yellow Shirt control of Abhisit, but reportedly told his supporters that if he resigned several people’s careers in the military will end or cut short and so he had to stay on-that is till a few key people, like Prayuth who says the sight of any Red Shirt sickens him, to reach their potentials.

Intelligence: Thai army sends tank expert to study main battle tanks from around the world

Analysis: Prem’s wishes for a US$2 billion new tank army to form a tank command appear closer to reality as the Thai military has sent tanks commanders scouting the globe for a suitable main battle tank. The problem is the budget and so perhaps there will be a scale down. But look for the military to push this very strongly. The mood of Thailand might also support a big-budget purchase as the Cambodia conflict has resulted in a big dose of Nationalism.

Intelligence: High-tech terrorist fighting equipment sub-standard

Analysis: The coup government of 2006 made several major technologies pushes in fighting terrorism in the Deep South, but failed miserably at the implementation side as corruption buffeted most programs. First was the video surveillance system that saw video camera boxed going up with no camera, and then now a high-tech bomb detection unit just simply does not work and have cause many people to get killed.

Intelligence: Thailand as home for trans-national crimes

Analysis: Lack of law and order, corruption, a culture of crime, strategically located are but a few factors that have resulted in Thailand being used as an important conduit and staging ground for trans-national crimes.The use of Thailand a a stop-over place for a plane load of weapons that included the AWACs busting missiles show how important Thailand have become.

Intelligence: 200 military personal communication devices for villagers in Deep South

Analysis: The military radio is being used for several reasons but namely to keep the communication flow going-but namely for advance warnings of terrorist attacks since most villagers knows when and where the terrorist will attack in advance. However, the radio is telling the terrorists who the Thai military informers are and therefore, many have rejected it for fear.

Intelligence: Thai army chief, Anupong, loosing friends fast

Analysis: All of them, Thai soldiers especially the high ranking, comes from the same place and think alike, but to have so many defected to join Taksin, is pulling a great deal of people away from Amupong. While all the reshuffling has solidified Anupong, there is no doubt the Thai military is splintered like never before. But the real threat to Anupong is from the “Third Column” who does not want either Taksin or Anupong.

Intelligence: Prem’s special signal?

Analysis: When ever Prem, the Thai Privy Council, dress in military uniforms to greet senior soldiers and other people like several high judges, it spells a signal of stronger military involvement in politics, to the point that a few days latter; Anupong had to say that there will be no coups in 2010.

Intelligence: Thai Prime Minister, Abhisit, pulls strings for cousin to jump rank

Analysis: Abhist made a plea to Anupong to appoint his cousin to a tank unit that is used in most coups. The problem is that Abhisit’s cousin is still very young and does not have seniority or capability to lead the unit as yet. The move went over the head of many other. The unit is highly sought of after since it is considered one of the few sure thing to move up the ranks in the Thai army.

Intelligence: Red Shirt sympathizers move out of key artillery units

Analysis: Anupong witch hunt for the Red Shirt have seen many key artillery unit commander being moved out of control. While many believe the tanks are where the power lies in the Thai army, artillery units have the capability to stop tank columns.

Intelligence: Red Shirt, Cambodia and Dubai tops Thai politician conversation with military

Analysis: If you wonder what Suthep, the deputy prime Minister for security and the Thai military talk about, reports says about 80% of it is about Red Shirt, Cambodia and Dubai, with the other 20% about arms purchase.

Intelligence: Manukrit’s secret letter to Prem published

Analysis: If you really want to get a glimpse into the psychology of Prem, the best place a letter, secret but now publish letter, from Manukrit to Prem. Manukrit lead several revolts against Prem but failed. The letter spells all sort of assassinations, plots and all that can literally put most Hollywood movie like from Tom Clancy to shame.

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