THAILAND LOOKS FOR NEW APPROACH TO INSURGENCY PROBLEM
Thai Army maydiscontinue its sweep [operations against Communist-led [guerrillas in the north.
Senior army leaders have admitted to US officials that little progress has beenticur, effective. iwJOTg^nT^pands in Nan Province,Ihey are reluctant to continue operations in the face-of mounting government illaSMthere. .have i ii-tffj
The army leaders have also acknowledged that their efforts to deny theopular base by forcefully relocating tribespeople and destroying villages have exasejkflfcfid tribal tensions and may
ave further Communist
gains. Earlier reports indicated that many tribesmen had joined the insurgents rather than go to government resettlement areas.
The government now isnew approaches to the secu-'rity problem in the north. Thai troops in the area will receive US Special Forces training and additional'helicopters will be deployed to ease the severeand logistics problem. In addition, Bangkok plans toill tribe security
forcCf-and to increaso itsto tribal refugees. Thai officials arc also trying -to persuade the commanders ofChinese Nationalist irregu-Ilars to settle their forces inaffected area.
Bangkok's reappraisal of the security problem is clearlyand these measures, if fully implemented, will enable theto cope with themore effectively. ore far-reaching solution to thethreat In the north,would require agovernment program ofand social assistance to
-Page 9 WEEKLY SUMMARY ar 68
bridge the gap with the tribal people. Ah yet, there ia nothat Bangkok is willing to move in this direction.
Keonwhlle, Communistin the northeast remainsow level. Armed propaganda meetings, the major vehicle used by the insurgents for village-level recruitment, have almost completely ended, and harassment of government forces is also The eight-monthCommunist activity in theappears to represent a response to thesecurityin no indication thathave been dealtblow, however, andprobable that they areto build up theirorganization beforeinitiativeOriginal document.