Nataliya Gorodnia

Dr. habil. (History), Professor

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Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine


Abstract. This paper intends to describe and discuss major transformations in the U.S.-Thai military and political treaty alliance of 1954 and 1962 durіng the post-Cold War period. The author seeks to reveal milestones in the U.S.-Thai political relations, and the most important factors that affected their defense and security cooperation. Methodology. These transformations are studied at the background of shifts in the international environment and the U. S. foreign policy, Thai domestic developments, and regional processes in Asia Pacific. In this empirical qualitative research, the methods of critical analysis of primary and secondary sources, chronological and comparative approaches are applied.
Conclusions. The research has revealed that in the new international environment of 1990s, the tasks of the U.S.-Thai treaty alliance were changed. It was reoriented towards transnational security threats, mostly drugs traffic and terrorism, humanitarian assistance in the case of natural disasters, preparations for peacekeeping operations, et cetera. 2001–2004, when Thai government supported the U.S.-led war on terror, was the most fruitful period of the U.S.-Thai cooperation during the post-Cold war period. Simultaneously, from the very end of Indochina wars Thailand attempted to evade overdependence on the United States in the security area, and sought to balance American influence. Development of close Thailand-China ties served the purpose. The special relations, established between Thailand and China, hindered the achievement of the full potential of the U.S.-Thai alliance. Besides, the U.S. and Thai governments had different perceptions on some important political issues such as human rights, the role of military in society and the governance, policy towards Myanmar, and the security issues in the South China Sea.
Since 2006, the U.S.–Thai defense and security cooperation was negatively affected by political instability in Thailand and military coup of 2006. As a result, during the rebalance to East Asia since 2011, the U.S. could not rely on effective cooperation with Thailand, its treaty ally. The military coup of 2014 caused the worst crisis in the U.S.-Thai relations. Though during D. Trump administration they were improved and the new vision of the alliance was agreed upon, this crisis actualized an issue of credibility of Thailand as an ally.

Key words: the United States, Thailand, U.S.–Thai relations, U.S.–Thai alliance, security issues.

Submitted: 18.01.2022



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