Latest re-shuffle at the Thai army: A united force emerges in a divided Thailand

Several local press reports, the Thai army, under Prayuth, has promoted a large number of middle ranking soldiers, who were involved with the crack-down on the Red Shirts, that killed about 100, to important “Force Commanding” positions. The re-shuffle, comes at about the same time, as the Red Shirts, are celebrating the birthday, of one of its leader, where local press reports, the gathering drew 10s of 1,000s. And Thai politics is hot. The Red Shirts, since Yingluck came to power, had been faced with a buffet of challenges, from commitment to its democratic philosophy and justice for their killed comrades compromised with the reality that they must be patience with Yingluck, and put a blind eye on the Thai army track record.  But even with that situation, having the potential, to hurt their drive for more members, the Red Shirts popularity in Thailand, have thus far, show no sign of debating. The corruption and questionable military equipment purchase, by the army, is also coming into question, in a country, increasingly angry about corruption and mis-management there. While Prayuth and Yingluck, have went positive, deciding to work close together, putting their difference on the back-burner, clearly, Thailand is developing towards having a military, with democratic governance. Inside the Thai army itself, there are many soldiers, who realize what the future will like bring, and have been openly touting stronger “Democratic Governance in the Army.” This latest move by Prayuth, clearly, means Prayuth have opted to put aside “Democratic Governance” in the military, reacting perhaps, to the sign, that the Red Shirts show no sign of deteriorating like the Yellow Shirts and that Yingluck, continues her trajectory of becoming more and more accepted, by a more broader and broader Thai society at large. Clearly, for Prayuth, he both, needs to maintain coherent among the ranks and files and be protected from risks that the Thai society at large, will turning on it, like for its involvement in killing about 100 Thais. And depending on Yingluck for that assurance from protection from the Thai society, is simply, from a national security point of view, risky, not only to Prayuth’s power and his vision of the future of the army, but Thai’s army effectiveness, as a Thailand’s defense force. However, the cost, to all the risk Prayuth feels he is facing, his self-interest and cohesion in the army, is that “Democratic Governance in the Army” had been a victim. One risk, to that putting aside democratic governance, is that Thailand, as always, has the potential to deteriorate into a political crisis, and Prayuth has a track record, of killing, his own countrymen, with the courts, pointing to the army, substantiating this point, and perhaps overall, this is what Prayuth fears.


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