With a strategic location, mature armed forces, and growing economy, Thailand will be an important US partner in the realm of future military and security cooperation, said Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey upon concluding his visit to Thailand this week. As the United States rebalances its presence in Asia, Thailand is an attractive partner for increased bilateral and multilateral cooperation, Dempsey told reporters during his return trip to the United States on June 5 after a week-long Asia trip. He said Thailand is a “very credible, welcoming military partner” that has used its growing economic and military strength beyond its borders to contribute to global security efforts, such as peacekeeping and humanitarian disaster response. While visiting Thailand on June 5, Dempsey met with the Thai prime minister, defense minister, chief of defense forces, and Thai army, navy and air force chiefs. Both militaries are examining concepts for a center of excellence in Thailand devoted to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, said Dempsey. (AFPS report by Karen Parrish) (For more on the US-Thai security relationship, read Cope Tiger from Air Force Magazine’s June issue.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.