America's military faces reductions in force and spending that could have a ripple effect. Proceedings asked the leaders of the world's sea services: Some see U.S. global naval engagement diminishing and the world's power structure realigning itself over the coming decade. In what ways would this affect your navy?
At present, the maritime security environment in Asia is undergoing a major change. The traditional threat of large-scale military confrontation is seen as declining. However, economic conflicts among nations, deriving from the exploitation of the seas and sea lines of communications—as well as from the globalization and technological development in transportation and communications—have had adverse effects on prosperity, stability, and security.
The U.S. Navy has played an important role in maintaining global security for a long time, especially in Asia, through close diplomatic relationships with allies and friendly nations and by promoting and strengthening various fields of military cooperation. The Royal Thai Navy has continually received both military support and aid from the U.S. Navy in many programs that maintain our combat readiness against both traditional and nontraditional threats.
In addition the U.S. Navy has played an indispensable role in assuring the safety of sea lines of communications in each region of the world, especially in deterring pirate attacks The establishment of Combined Maritime Forces to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia (as well as in the Indian Ocean), is indicative of the strong support of many countries for the international organizations and agencies that provide humanitarian aid and assistance across the world.
If U.S. global naval engagement truly diminishes, it will have a significant impact on the Royal Thai Navy in the preparedness of our combatant forces, arms and equipment, as well as logistics. If that occurs, we will need to become more self-reliant, focusing on enhancing our naval forces and capabilities, and shaping more balanced and compact forces for greater flexibility in defending our country and protecting maritime interests That also will strengthen our intra-service logistics cooperation within the country and among our allies.
With regard to the realignment of the world’s power structure, the Royal Thai Navy needs to work bilaterally and multilaterally with other countries in the region and allies that share common interests. It can do that by strengthening maritime security cooperation through the promotion of confidence-building measures and the development of preventive diplomacy, as well as consolidating relevant international organizations and agencies at the regional and global levels to jointly address the threats and challenges that come with the rapid changes in the global security environment.