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Thailand:
Military & Transnational Issues

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Other pages in this profile of Thailand:
Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation,
Military branches
Definition
Royal Thai Army (RTA), Royal Thai Navy (RTN, includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force (Knogtap Agard Thai, RTAF) (2008)
Military service age and obligation
Definition
21 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; males are registered at 18 years of age; 2-year conscript service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service
Definition
males age 16-49: 17,553,410
females age 16-49: 17,751,268 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
Definition - World rank and map
males age 16-49: 12,968,674
females age 16-49: 14,058,779 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Definition
males age 16-49: 531,315
females age 16-49: 511,288 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
Definition - World rank and map
1.8% (2005 est.)
Disputes - international
Definition
separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem terrorist activities; Southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong River; despite continuing border committee talks, Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities, and as of 2006, over 116,000 Karen, Hmong, and other refugees and asylum seekers from Burma; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of historic boundary with missing boundary markers; Cambodia claims Thai encroachments into Cambodian territory and obstructing access to Preah Vihear temple ruins awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween river near the border with Burma; in 2004, international environmentalist pressure prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River that flows through China, Burma, and Thailand
Refugees and internally displaced persons
Definition
refugees (country of origin): 132,241 (Burma) (2007)
Illicit drugs
Definition
a minor producer of opium, heroin, and marijuana; transit point for illicit heroin en route to the international drug market from Burma and Laos; eradication efforts have reduced the area of cannabis cultivation and shifted some production to neighboring countries; opium poppy cultivation has been reduced by eradication efforts; also a drug money-laundering center; minor role in methamphetamine production for regional consumption; major consumer of methamphetamine since the 1990s despite a series of government crackdowns


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