Jun 5, 2014

Duncan McCargo on Thai's Coup @ForeignPolicy

Duncan McCargo, famous thai expert wrote an article in Foreign Policy  yesterday about the Thai Coup.

He explained how the military culture in Thailand make the coup "is destined to fail."

Unfortunately, the military does not seem to understand this. Thai generals experience little criticism during their professional lives. Socialized into military culture from the day they enter pre-cadet school at age 15, they can look forward to a 45-year career in the Army. Thailand has one of the world’s largest contingents of serving generals — around 1,500 across the three services, from a total military personnel of just over 300,000. Many of them have literally nothing to do except dabble in business and meddle in politics. Surrounded by yes men for most of their lives, they are ill-equipped to run real businesses or assume ministerial, political, or other public offices. The Thai Army is a uniformed bureaucracy that has not fought a real war since playing a supporting role to the Americans in Vietnam.

His only suggestion to current junta :

A coup turns the tables on top generals in ways they do not enjoy. Soon their misery begins to infect the wider population, which starts to yearn again for political leaders the people can more easily eject from office. Thai coup-makers now in power would do best to scale back their own visibility, appoint a civilian prime minister and cabinet to take pressure off the junta, and plan for a speedy departure.


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