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Thailand's Military, the USA and China

PI: John Blaxland, Australian National University

Year selected for award: 2014

Thailand's Military, the USA and China: Understanding How the Thai Military Perceives the Great Powers and Implications for the US Rebalance

Principal Investigator: John Blaxland, Australian National University

Co-Principal Investigators: Greg Raymond, Australian National University

Years of Award: 2014-2018

Managing Service Agency: Office of Naval Research

Project Description:

Our research aimed at understanding if Thai military and political figures are amenable to Great Power influence over strategic security choices and the key determinants of such influence. Our approach involved building this project around an empirical data collection exercise unprecedented in scale and focus. Central to this was large-scale surveying of the attitudes and beliefs of serving junior to midlevel Thai military officers studying at ten different Thai military educational institutions. Surveying was undertaken three times over three years. The survey covered a wide range of factors affecting the thinking of the Thai military, including the fluctuations of United States and Chinese influence over time. Augmenting the data collected from surveys, we conducted a series of interviews with senior serving and retired military personnel from across the Thai armed forces, as well as other former senior officials and leaders with foreign policy experience and insights. We also held workshops with experts to assist in interpreting survey data. Coupled with documentary research and a robust theoretical framework, this approach has offered a new, sophisticated and powerful analysis of the culture, history, strategies and significance of external influences on Thailand's security choices.

Select Publications:
Blaxland, John, and Greg Raymond. 2018. "Learning To Trust: Lessons From Thailand, The US And China".
Blaxland, John, and Greg Raymond. 2019. "Tenets Of Thailand’s ASEAN Engagement | East Asia Forum". East Asia Forum.
Raymond, Gregory, and John Blaxland. forthcoming. "Thailand and Great power Competition in Southeast Asia". Routledge.
Raymond, Gregory. 2018. Thai Military Power: A Culture Of Strategic Accommodation. NiAS Press.
Raymond, Gregory, and John Blaxland. 2017. "Tipping The Balance In Southeast Asia? Thailand, The United States And China". SSRN Electronic Journal.