By Stingray, this blog national security jounalist
American intelligence source told this blog that US president Obama, is considering to down-grade the US-Thai military alliances.
“The role of the Thai military in the Hmong issue has greatly alienated Obama away from Thailand. We have been asked by Langley to evaluate US-Thai security issues,” the American intelligence source told this blog.
Thailand has recently started to repatriate back into Laos about 2,000 people of the Hmong tribe. A great deal of Hmong tribe had been active in helping the CIA in the Laos theater of the Vietnam War-and many have since resettled in America, through Thailand, particularly to California and Texas.
The new Langley order, is coming as the CIA in Bangkok is deeply involved in assessing the North-Korea arms smuggling that was stopped in Bangkok by the Thai intelligence. The CIA and Thai intelligence also have a very long relationship in combating terrorist in Thailand Deep South.
Thailand and the US conduct annual military exercise that is the largest in the ASEAN region-that has drawn participations from most ASEAN members. Thailand was accorded the security link status with the US, only second to NATO-and one of the few countries globally with such a status.
The US had, un-usually came out very strongly against the Thai repatriation move, with Obama making specific statements on the issue and the United Nations did very much the same thing.
Some in the foreign diplomatic community in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, said they speculate that the US president Obama, will not take concrete action, as the US foreign policy is currently dominated by engagement through economics and developmental relations.
“Thailand is the second largest economy in ASEAN and can not be counted out that easily, and then you add the military build-up in ASEAN region, and ASEAN is becoming a key to keep the Chinese Navy in check,” said a German diplomat to this blog.
Conflicting reports have emerged as to the level of force involved in the repatriation, with many saying the Hmong were violently treated by the Thai military, while other reports said the Hmong were treated well. The Thai military keeps an extremely tight control on the media issue when it comes to refugees in Thailand.
Most neutral foreign relations observer globally says the Thai military is currently in the driving seat on Thailand’s foreign policy, where currently Thailand in a grip of Nationalistic ferver and xenophobia is rampant.
Traditionally, only when Thailand’s interest can be served through liberal humanitarian aid, would the Thailand foreign policy accommodate such activity as refugees support. In general, Thailand is highly protective of its sovereignty, territory integrity and immigration policy.
Most local Thai press supports the Thai military move on the Hmong issue, and have urged the Thai government to see that Obama’s involvement only relates to the Hmong population in the US.
That traditional Thai position, against humanitarian support, had been made more concrete with the current, traditional far right leaning, Thai military being highly politicized.
Under the current far right and nationalistic Thai government, many countries, including much of ASEAN, have turned cold towaards Thailand.