Many rea­sons why con­scrip­tion is ac­tu­ally cru­cial for Thai­land

The Nation - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

Re: “Let’s stop forc­ing boys to be sol­diers”, Edi­to­rial, Au­gust 29.

The re­al­ity of this neigh­bour­hood is po­ten­tially hos­tile neigh­bours on all sides. It’s not long since we were fight­ing com­mu­nist in­sur­gency, we still have an Is­lamist in­sur­gency in the deep South sup­ported from across the bor­der, and a one-mil­lion-man stand­ing army in Myan­mar with China loom­ing fur­ther to the north.

Con­scrip­tion trains 100,000 Thais per year; that means there are at all times at least 2 mil­lion Thais of fight­ing age with mil­i­tary train­ing that could be called up to de­fend the na­tion against in­va­sion. That is an ef­fec­tive de­ter­rent to main­tain the peace and bal­ance of power in the re­gion and done with min­i­mal ex­pense com­pared to main­tain­ing a large stand­ing army.

Mar­cus Ce­sare Budda Sur­in­tarad

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