Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Head of School provides expertise on South-east Asian border conflict

27 April 2011 |

Duncan McCargo, Professor of South-east Asian Studies has provided his political expertise on the current Cambodia-Thailand border conflict.

Prof. McCargo comments on the strained relationship between these neighbouring countries, suggesting the border disupte is an ongoing struggle between Thailand's military, its foreign ministry and the Prime Minister's Office.

"In the past, the Thai army has always demanded the right to pursue an independent foreign policy to advance its own ends. By prosecuting this bizarre and pointless border war, the military is trying to present itself as the true guardian of the national interest, seizing the moral high ground from civilian politicians," he said. "However, the conflict is further eroding Thailand's international credibility and is proving a headache to both Asean and the UN. The sooner the Thai military accepts that foreign policy is the preserve of elected governments, the better."

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