The defense, which is based on general military duty with
an initial service of 24 months, comprises (2010) about
305,000 men. The reserves amount to 200,000 people. The army
(190,000 men) is organized into ten divisions with 330
The Navy (44,000 men, including 23,000 Navy infantrymen)
has an aircraft carrier with 6 Harrier aircraft, 19 frigates
/ corvettes, 44 smaller fighters, 8 land-based aircraft and
a naval aircraft with approximately 21 fighter aircraft and
8 attack helicopters. The Air Force (46,000 men) has about
165 fighter aircraft, i.a. 50 F-16. Semi-military security
forces amount to 114,000 men.
In 2002, the defense was deployed in the border regions
against Burma/Myanmar and in 2008-09 against Cambodia.
Low-intensity efforts were made in 2008-09 against the
Malaysian Muslim militia in southern Thailand, while the aim
was to maintain the confidence of the population through
so-called hearts and minds strategy. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that THA stands for Thailand.
The equipment is relatively modern and mainly of American
origin. Older Chinese stock is about to be phased out. A new
ten-year two-stage defense plan was adopted in 2008,
including upgrading a cavalry division and purchasing six
JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft.
Defense costs decreased in 1985-2008 from 4.0% to 1.6% of
GDP. Thailand participates in UN peacekeeping operations
with observers in Sudan (UNAMID, UNMIS).
Thailand's foreign policy
Thailand is a member of the UN, the World Trade
Organization, ASEAN and APEC, among others.
Relationship with Cambodia
Cambodia's application to give the Preah Vihear Temple a
place on UNESCO's list of world cultural and natural
heritage led to an ancient border dispute between Cambodia
and Thailand fiercely reopened in 2008. Both countries
claimed that the 11th century temple - originally Hindu, but
later converted to Buddhism - are in their territory.
However, the disputed area of 4.6 square kilometers was
allocated to Cambodia by an order of the International Court
of Justice in The Hague in 1962.
The announcement by UNESCO about the agreement with
Cambodia nevertheless aroused strong nationalist sentiment
in Thailand. The ruling party also received support from the
opposition here. As Cambodia celebrated its new World
Heritage attraction, thousands of Thai nationalists flocked
to Preah Vihear to claim the temple back. Both countries'
governments sent soldiers to the temple district, and
Cambodia called on the UN Security Council to intervene.
Armed clashes with fallen on both sides in the "temple war"
both in 2008 and 2009. The Constitutional Court in Thailand
declared a contentious agreement with Cambodia, signed by
then Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama, as unconstitutional.
In the agreement, Thailand provided formal support for
Cambodia's UNESCO application, which led to Pattama's
departure. The two countries agreed to jointly draw up new
and accurate borders during 2009, but early in the year new
armed clashes occurred here.
Bangkok, Krung Thep, the capital of Thailand located on the river Chao Phraya
(Menam) 40 km from the Gulf of Thailand; 9.3 million residents (2010). The name
Bangkok, which the city is known by foreigners, was the name of the area on the
west bank of Chao Phraya where the capital was built. Krung Thep (City of
Angels) is an abbreviation for the official and very long Thai name given by
Rama 1. in 1785.
In recent times, the city has grown explosively. New high-rise buildings are
popping up everywhere, replacing the original low-rise buildings. The city is
Thailand's only real metropolis and has over 25 times as many residents as the
country's second largest city. In the past, a network of canals (khlong) served
as main arteries and the city was known as "Venice of the East". But the
majority of canals are filled up and turned into roads where the city's many
vehicles create an inferno of noise and pollution.
The historic center houses the former royal palace and several of the famous
and lavishly decorated temples. These are some of the city's main tourist
attractions. However, the city is also known for its many bars and massage
parlors, which place Bangkok centrally on the world map of sex tourism.
The city is Thailand's economic center. A significant part of the country's
industry is gathered here, and most of the foreign trade passes through the
city's port, Khlong Toey. In this area is the largest slum area. Trade and
service industries make up the largest business groups; the many street vendors
that characterize the cityscape testify to the importance of the informal sector
in the city's economy. Bangkok is Thailand's absolute economic powerhouse. The
city accounts for over half of Thailand's GDP. The uplift is great; Bangkok is
expected to have a daily active catchment stretching 200 km to the east, north
and west and all the way down to the Bay of Bangkok.
In addition, most (large) families all over Thailand rely on migrant labor to
supplement their income from agriculture. The vast majority of migrant workers
work in Bangkok for shorter or longer periods of the year. It is estimated that
up to DKK 2 million. People lost their jobs as a migrant worker and were sent
back to the country when the economic crisis broke out in 1997.
The strong economic growth from the mid-1980's to 1997 led to intense
construction activity in Bangkok, where a large number of high-rise buildings
shot up. In the context of the Southeast Asian financial crisis in 1997,
development stopped for a period, but it has gained momentum again in the 2000's.
The whole town is in a former swamp area; the ever-increasing volume of
groundwater pumped daily to the city's population and industry has caused it to
decline. As the city is already partly at sea level, this has aggravated the
floods that occur every year during the rainy season.
Bangkok's transportation system suffers from heavy congestion; up to DKK 2
million vehicles travel daily on city streets and at an average speed of less
than 10 km/h. The traffic situation has been improved by the construction of
large motorway facilities on several floors throughout the city. A significant
improvement to the infrastructure is the construction of a high-frequency
electric high-speed train in central parts of Bangkok. The highway was opened in
1999 and in 2004 was supplemented by an underground metro.
The port of Khlong Toey has been unable to process the increased freight
traffic, which is one of the consequences of Thailand's export-oriented
production. New development plans therefore aim to include areas outside the
metropolitan area as centers of economic life, if Bangkok is not to become a
hindrance to the country's continued development.
Bangkok has been Thailand's capital since 1782. After the destruction of the
royal city of Ayutthaya in 1767, the king lived in Thon Buri, which today is a
suburb of Bangkok. King Rama 1. moved his residence to the eastern shore of Chao
Phraya to strengthen the defense against the Burmese. Bangkok was to be made a
new economic, political and cultural center of power in Thailand as a
replacement for Ayutthaya whose temples and archives had been burned.
Foreign trade grew and Bangkok became an important port in the region; The
king had a monopoly on trade until 1855. Economic growth can be seen in the
palaces and the many temples, for example, Wat Arun, which crosses the river,
and Wat Phra Kaeo with the significant Buddha statue (Emerald Buddha) of green
jasper. In the Wat Pho Temple with the great reclining Buddha gathered in a
myriad of inscriptions on geography, history, poetry, Buddhism, etc. - a Thai
The city's population grew after the abolition of slavery and slavery in
1870, and not least by Chinese immigration. The great Chinese quarter of Sam
Peng is centrally located in the city. The increased European influence made it
necessary to modernize the traffic, which was largely carried out along the
canals. In 1884 a railway was built for the coast and in 1899 an electric
tramway, the last under Danish management.
The connection to the past combination of state, kingdom and Buddhism is seen
not only in the over 300 temples, many of which enjoy royal protection, but also
in the fact that the royal house owns large parts of the land in inner Bangkok,
a remnant of the monarchical monarchy when the king was the "lord of the earth".
The link between traditional and modern Bangkok is symbolized by the Lak
Muang Pile, erected in 1792 in a temple near the old palace. This gilded pole is
a Thai symbol of power and economic growth; here lives the patronage of the city
and the nation. In 1983, the Crown Prince launched a new and higher pole to
secure the country's economy. Menigmand consult the shooting spirit, i.e.
regarding lottery and business.