Insurgency in Thailand: Time to Tame the Islamist Tiger?
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The insurgency in southern Thailand, guided by a radical Islamic ideology, is well-funded and equipped, is attracting greater numbers of recruits, and will only increase in capability over time. Bangkoks virtual loss of control of the insurgency and the ethno-religious strife rising from the militias is not encouraging. While the insurgency is not currently aligned to the global jihad movement, the United States response should be based on the potential the southern Thailand insurgency poses if left to take its own course. This paper argues that the United States has strategic interests in Southeast Asia that could be negatively affected by an expansion of the conflict and further political or economic turmoil in Thailand. The author analyzes the insurgency with a view toward determining its affiliation with international jihadist actors and offers recommendations for both Thailand and the United States. He concludes that the United States should do all it can to help its ally come up with a strategy to resolve the conflict before significant U.S. forces are involved.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law
- Unconventional Warfare