Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his counterpart from Thailand, Sukumpol Suwanatat, today issued a new "joint vision statement" on defense ties between the two countries:
For more than 50 years, the Thai-U.S. defense alliance has promoted regional stability by fostering cooperation in areas that enable both nations to address shared security concerns effectively. Both nations reaffirmed this relationship when Thailand became a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States in 2004. Today, the alliance is a true 21st century partnership that addresses a range of challenges, including responding to natural and manmade disasters, confronting transnational threats, contributing to global peacekeeping, and addressing maritime security issues. The Thai-U.S. defense alliance supports Thailand’s position as a regional leader – including within the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) and other regional bodies – and the United States’ enduring presence in the Asia-Pacific. Continuous policy consultation and coordination on regional and global security affairs lays the foundation for our defense activities.
As the Thai-U.S. defense alliance is calibrated to address 21st- century challenges, defense cooperation is to focus on the following four areas: 1) Partnership for Regional Security in Southeast Asia; 2) Supporting Stability in the Asia-Pacific Region and Beyond; 3) Bilateral and Multilateral Interoperability and Readiness; and 4) Relationship Building, Coordination, and Collaboration at All Levels.
For the full statement, click here.