Thailand Military

Thailand is a country located in Southeast Asia and is known for its strong military and defense. The Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTAF) is the military branch of the country and consists of four branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command. The total active personnel stands at around 300,000 with an additional reserve force of around 100,000 personnel. Thailand has a lower defense budget compared to its GDP as it spends about 2.3% of its GDP on defense. The country also imports weapons from countries such as the United States, China, Russia, and India. Thailand also has strong ties with other countries in the region such as Cambodia which allows them to cooperate militarily when needed. As a result of this strong military presence in the region Thailand has become an important regional player in security issues and is able to maintain peace and stability within Southeast Asia effectively. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Thailand.


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 tanks. See for Thailand tour plan.

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.e. 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.

Thailand Army

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).

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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 encyclopedia.

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.