Leveraging emerging technologies in Southern Thailand
Valentine, Albert R.
Ehlert, James F.
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Since 2001, the Kingdom of Thailand has seen a resurgence of ethno-religious (Malay-Muslim) violence that has killed approximately 800 people, causing obvious disruption within the nation and instability in the region. As one of the US' staunchest allies in Southeast Asia and with the potential for this violence to intensify further, it behooves the US government to offer solutions to help mitigate or reduce the violence in southern Thailand. This thesis examines the history of southern Thailand, analyzing the political factors behind the Malay-Muslim rebellions of the past, tracing the roots of their rebellion back to the era of Patani Raya and the "Siamization" of the south. It explores the various trends and actors and other antecedent conditions (external influences) during the recent violence. Information on the various separatist groups operating in southern Thailand is provided along with an analysis of the porous Thai-Malay border and the role of PAS in southern Thailand. Lastly, this thesis examines an NPS field experimentation program entitled "Coalition Operation Area Surveillance and Targeting System" (COASTS). COASTS provides tactical, actionable information to remote and local decision-makers by integrating commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), lighter than air vehicles (LTA), and unattended air and ground sensors, and wireless meshed networks technologies. If deployed to problematic areas, systems like COASTS can assist the Royal Thai government in reducing the violence in the south.
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