The Thailand-U.S. Defense Alliance in U.S.-Indo-Pacific Strategy


Kavi Chongkittavorn

Asia Pacific Issues, No. 137


Washington: East-West Center

Publication Date: March 2019
Binding: paper
Pages: 9
Free Download: PDF


After 200 years of diplomatic relations, the time has come for the United States and Thailand to build upon this strong foundation and chart a new course for their alliance in the Indo-Pacific region. This re-examination has hit roadblocks in recent years, as Thailand grapples with the effects of its ongoing coup and the role of the United States in the region is questioned at home and abroad. However, an opportunity has presented itself in the form of the United States’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIP). Both the United States and Thailand could capitalize on FOIP’s call for an updated, comprehensive strategy towards the region. Though still in the early stages, Thailand’s central role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) combined with its long history with the United States position it to have a strong influence on what shape FOIP will take and highlight its importance as an ally to the United States.