11/19/2012 (press release: JaturontThan)
Commercials like these are great tools, not just as base propaganda measures, but also valuable tools that effectively and truthfully show a broader perspective on what the Royal Thai Army does for the people of Thailand. Not only does it show us that we have a lot of cute kids (which, of course, we do,) but that the men in our strong armed services acquire and actively use more skills than simply learning the values of pure military tactics.
The popular myth of military culture is that of violence, whether it’s justified or not, defensive or offensive. While that portion of the narrative certainly describes an essential function of the armed forces, it hardly describes them as a whole. The truth is that good military functions in much the same way as any good community does, with the added benefit that the military can engage in any armed conflict or peacekeeping that might arise. While it’s altogether true that the use and maintenance of force is the primary and recognizable function of any military, possibly its more important function is that of a social one.
The last eight years has seen an escalation in insurgent terrorist attacks in the southern region of our country, and the Royal Thai Army has done its part in preventing, countering, and compensating for these brutal and disruptive attacks. Each of these acts, purportedly targeted at tourist destinations, are filled with good Thai citizens in these places’ employ. The parliament will, of course, always do what it can to mitigate the effects of these terrorists’ actions by working with their counterparts in surrounding territories, just as ours will with other military institutions as the situation becomes feasible. In the meantime, the members of the Armed Forces– professionally trained as well as any civilians– will fill in gaps made by these terrible attacks.
There’s a psychological component to what we do as well. It’s important that any domestic military force does whatever it can to gain and maintain the trust of its people while working to protect them. Consider: the aftermath of the Egyptian Revolution in 2011. While we don’t mean to make any judgment about whether President Mubarak’s ouster was the right thing for the Egyptian people or not, it’s undeniable that their army stood as the only consistent peacekeeping force in the country. The tensions that have recently arisen after their recent parliamentary elections would be totally nonexistent if the people still trusted them.
Our people stand with us, and as well they should. The attacks that sporadically terrorize our southern region come not from a state or even an organized set of rebels, but a ragtag group of terrorists who have yet to officially tell us what they want. Furthermore, the collateral damage that they inflict leaves many of our families wanting for skilled teachers, medics, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. Where we can, we have tried to both eliminate these evil cowards and fill in the societal gaps that they leave in their wake.
Of course, we can’t do it alone. That’s what’s so important about what we do now, about how our relationships with civilian shops, the clergy, and anyone else affected by these attacks.
Most importantly, though, is the need for us to be able to function as a society: our children still need to be fed, sheltered, and taught. Our citizens still need to work; our parents still need to care for their families. It’s that sort of need that ultimately drives these brave men to do what they do in the entire armed division.
Many other countries in the world lack the requirement for military service does, which we feel takes away from a sense of belonging and community that the Royal Armed Forces has. Consider that the United states, who’ve long boasted of their military prowess (and who have the largest budget in the world for their military) lack any sort of military service requirement. In fact, less than 10% of their population serves in their branches. With that known, how is it that
they can have the lasting sense of commitment to the people of their country that we can? All of our healthy men serve, and they teach the values they learn during their service to their families. In the mean time, not only do they keep us safe, but also they know that they have formed lasting relationships with their countrymen outside of that service.
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