ASEAN Defense: Thai F16s Mid-Air Clash…Corruption? Bad Karma? & too Politicized?

By Stingray, Thai Intel’s national security journalist

The latest news is that 2 of Thailand‘s F16s jet fighters have accidentally run into each other, destroying both planes, with the pilot ejecting to safety.

The obvious question is why-since F16s do not just run into each other that often?

There are fundamentally 3 answers here-corruption, bad karma and the Thai military being too politicized. That is what the Thais are saying on Facebook and Twitter, with most foreigners-probably discounting out the karma thing.

  • Corruption:

The Thai military is one of the most corrupted globally, that is well-known. For example, the GT200 chopstick bomb detector. Hundreds were bought by the Thai military and even today, the Thai military continues to say that it works and not admitting anything. Then also recently, Thai press reported on the higher price of the Thai Grippen jet fighters than what other countries paid, then armored personal carriers with engine problems, and also terrorism fighting balloons that can not fly in the tropics.

The list of corruption and not admitting corruption is just staggering-and going way back.

Thai Intel’s own source, when he went to visit a Thai military general, said he was shocked, by the sight of Thailand’s biggest arms dealer, standing in the general’s living room, helping the general’s son un-wrapping boxes full of the latest electronics for the general’s entertainment center.

“It must have cost millions and god knows it was a gift to the general’s family,” said that Thai Intel’s source. Then if Thai Intel readers have been following Thai Intel’s report of our conversation with the Thai soldier’s wife-well just research Thai Intel to see how utterly corrupt the Thai military is.

If Thai Intel’s readers are not convinced, just go and look at the Thai general’s typical house-because a typical Thai military general who has power, each of those general have many-not houses-but mansions. The standard military rule in Thailand is that about 50% of Thailand’s military secret funds-is at the general’s discretion-not receipt needed.

Corruption is everywhere, and that is probably why the F16s ran into each other or to put it straight-the F16s probably were not in their best condition.

As one Thai air force military general, who is not corrupt like most, one day went to fly a Thai F16 said, quote: “This plane is not ready to fly safely.” Well, the Thai general actually wrote that into the plane’s log-book. Guess what, nothing was done, and only weeks later, the F16 had an accident when landing-which is exactly, what the general wrote in the log.

  • Bad Karma:

Then there is Bad Karma, where the Red Shirts have been saying for a long time now that the Thai generals can not just go and kill about 100 protesters and injuring 1,000s more, without suffering bad karma.

Recently, a Thai soldier, in charged and identified as having commanded a unit that killed about 30 protesters-got into an accident, and was killed-with his body torn to bit. The red Shirts said it was Bad Karma.

The F16s and the Thai pilot may have also suffered Bad karma, as days ago, the Thai F16s went zooming close to the Thai-Cambodian border-obviously trying to scare the Cambodians. The Thai generals said it was a mistake to have went about 2 Kilometers from the Cambodian border-obviously lying. Then more flights near the border to scare the Cambodians.

The Cambodians, with nothing much of an air force, said they have Surface to Air Missiles (SAM) and the SAMs are ready to shoot the Thai F16s out of the sky. In fact, years ago, Thailand got into a war with Laos and sent their F5s to attack the Laotian position-only to see 2 Thais F5s get hit by SAMs and were lost.

Perhaps the F16 clashed because of Bad Karma-as the Thai press went reporting in great big letters, full of joy and happiness, that the Thai F16s were standing ready to pound Cambodia. Well, if one have been reading Thai Intel-Thai Intel’s analysis points to the Thai military that is the aggressor in This series of Thai-Cambodian conflict. The Thai newspapers playing up Thailand’s F16s as the ultimate Cambodia killer-probably looked bad to the Gods.

  • Politicized Military:

Then the clash of the F16s can also be about a military gone hay-wire politicized.

Like anything, when one plays politics too much-one forgets that underlying it all, all that politics, is still professionalism. The Thai military have a long track record of being very non-professional-but great at public relations.

Like everything is public relations and psychological warfare with the Thai military.

The track record of failure in military affairs is as long as a kite tail. The only thing that have saved Thailand in the past, is nothing but smart diplomacy. But when it comes to actually fighting a war, the Thai military have lost just about every war.

The two recent examples currently are: The Thai navy got embarrassed in its Somalia operation-with the taking of a Thai ship by pirates and the Deep South terrorism crisis is getting worse. In both cases, the Thai military maintains, that they are doing a professional job and their operation is a success.

And if one looks at the Thai press and TV-there is nothing, but how the Thai military is “Great.”

There is even a movement in Thailand now, to sing the national anthem backwards-because the latter part of the national anthem is about the Thai military and how great it is.

The following is from the Bangkok Post:

Two F16 fighters of the Thai air force taking part in the Cobra Gold 2011 exercise crashed on Monday morning in Chaiyaphum province but both pilots managed to eject to safety, air force spokesman Monthon Satchukorn said.

Air Marshal Monthon said the two F16s disappeared from radar at 10.20am. They were part of a flight of  four F16s which took off from Wing 1 of Nakhon Ratchasima to take part in the Cobra Gold exercise.

Earlier reports said the planes crashed into the forest near Tat Ton waterfall between Lae Hu Kwang and Wang Phon villages in tambn Tha Hin Ngom in Muang district of Chaiyaphum province.

The spokesman said Air Chief Marshal Ithiporn Suphawong had ordered  helicopters and vehicles into the area to look for the pilots.

Both were reported to have ejected to safety before the planes hit the ground.

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