U.S. aid to Thailand ruling army cut dramatically to spur elections

World Today

Substantial military aid cuts to Thailand’s Army by the U.S. have forced Thailand to scale back a 34 year old military exercise which is the largest in Asia. The Cobra Gold exercises held some 100 kilometer’s outside of Bangkok are seen in part as a celebration of the United States and Thailand’s bilateral relations which date back to 1818.

U.S. aid to Thailand ruling army cut dramatically to spur elections

Substantial military aid cuts to Thailand’s Army by the U.S. have forced Thailand to scale back a 34 year old military exercise which is the largest in Asia. The Cobra Gold exercises held some 100 kilometer’s outside of Bangkok are seen in part as a celebration of the United States and Thailand’s bilateral relations which date back to 1818.

Thailand’s ruling Generals responded angrily to the cuts and the usual pomp and pageantry as top brass in Thailand’s army arrived was absent. The event spans 10 days with around 20,000 soldiers from two dozen nations performing combat drills and humanitarian exercises.

A coup last year led the U.S. to call for a return to democracy which wasn’t received well by the military government that took power.

It has been a tough few weeks for U.S., Thai relations. Last month a few sharp remarks from the Daniel R. Russel, the most senior U.S. diplomat to visit Thailand since the military seize power, made clear that Washington wants a fast return to elections. Military aid which once flowed freely from the U.S. to Thailand, has now dwindled dramatically.

Information for this report compiled by CCTV in Bangkok<\strong<<\em>