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TNR on Thai coup and what, if anything, the administration should do

The New Republic, one of the many house organs of liberal imperialism:

The latest coup was Thailand’s twelfth since its independence in 1932. Some experts point to this frequency as evidence that the military hasn’t learned its lesson and that the U.S. needs a stronger response. But Frank Jannuzi, a former State Department analyst and current president and CEO of the Mansfield Foundation, says foreign policy doesn’t often have clear-cut answers and requires flexibility. “The best way to boost the confidence of the Thai people in the U.S. is to support democratic governance without ignoring developments that go counter to that. But the U.S. needs to be a constant partner, not one that walks away when things are troubled,” he said.

Bower said Thailand is starting to view the U.S. as a fair-weathered friend: “The State Department overestimated the depth of the U.S. relationship with Thailand. It has atrophied since the Asian financial crisis of 1997, when they felt we left them out to dry.”

According to Jannuzi, the military has a relatively positive reputation among the people and has intentionally distanced itself from political allegiances to either the recently ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra or her opposition, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee. After more than six months of violent protests, and the current leadership void, General Prayuth’s claim that the military was forced to intervene to maintain stability is plausible....

That the U.S. is now legally bound to do something that would be contrary to its interestsand not necessarily beneficial to the Thai peopleraises doubts about the utility of Section 508 of the Foreign Assistance Act....

Jannuzi predicts that Kerry and Obama will err on the side of diplomatic flexibility, so that the administration can assess the motivations of the Thai military.

“One of the things that Washington will be looking for is concrete steps by the military to restore democratic rule. I get the feeling that that is the intention, because the Thai military has learned from experience that running a country is not fun,” he said.

Bottom line here so far as I can tell is the the US should do nothing.

I think that's perfectly OK, because Obama fucks up and degrades whatever he gets involved in. Ukraine, Obama! Ukraine! Look over there, Ukraine!

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Submitted by lambert on

North/Northeast needs to mature on its own, not look to Thaksin the Big Man, moreover one outside the country!!!!!

Submitted by lambert on

This is something else in the backroom. If the US went to war with Thai finance, as with Russia, that would be another thing. Instead, Obama cut aid like what, $3 million? Nobody in DC cares about Thailand. Nor do the voters (except this voter :-)

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...even for Thailand. And, it's only 1/3 of the total of $10 million in aid (still a pittance).
So, yes, the games we play, no?
Thailand is too important for serious sanctions; black sites, airfields, listening posts, and the strategic location, geographically, for its *pivot* against China (and this makes me laugh).