INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM -- NORTHEAST THAILAND

Created: 8/1/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

r

ERTV OF THE DIA

DOCUMENT LIBRARY

OF INTELLIGENCE

Intelligence Memorandum

Northeast Thailand

Confidential

G11

Irjurgrney In jtarii of noilliNil

Khorat the moil Irani C'- Bt *

halory of poli^nl disaffectionhe pece-Jiioriaeaai and ifc* ceatia!angkok.

ConvtiajUJt earstoste'ton ef it-.

ic-ipced i) earl) ai (han ihe

rawni of Nong KKm (nil Khon Kaen. Sine*i-iivwaned and htii feven

rcpreited rcpaaiedly b) The central governtiviIncreased markedly In4 andafter two ChmeteThaiThaifcaad Incepeodeote Movmear*thefITT)forced

in Pcfcuic. Thai immgrfibeneOiinn ind (rimed in

Three (anon haw traditionally loitered th* develop-

r- >l< inl I!c'

liotaticn ol thi' region Uom ihe remainder of Thailandlo ill)

the faOcr* of much of tbe population lo identify with the centralaagiwi. andha relative povertyatal populationrieartoui agsv ol'crtl eevworarraerat. TW Trmevoriaf, wmml attention andhe task of cduM*?-

;,' tmm problems

locoHon and Troniporlotion

NcrtHcait Thailand rovers0 squarend ccciitirisei (bout on*.thud ol (he entire national area. About ID rni.lion people, one-ih.td ol Ihe total population of the country, live here Theiiio

ndcehrna Import!o* front Ovea-

leu move through the port of Bangkoii and -muThauMd lo theetbo present eco

ba theofMncal bate and ai an lerial bad door" for planealo Vkernan. Dry aedseason routeand ihe location of selected air-Soldi aie (howa on Map MOt

Thelateau physically separated Iran Bangkok and ihe ten of the nationotiotatnou* vtcarpment consisting ol th* notlS tenth (rendingni {mountain iimpe) PhetcKahun and (he east-wcit aligned Thiu Khuo Pliunoni Dongrai. At (ho right-angle junction ol ihe two tangoi, nineilci notrhcist ci Qangkoi. ih*he average elevationdm mountalaieat Then inouniaiiii aie formidable obilKhi lo-irorsmeni eilhei Irom Ihe Wlandi ol central-or from iocMioai ini.Uid. aoeh at iho port ana of SatlaSip. VtUagoa On ihe pUieau alto are brgeVfrca one axCbt* Ihe raeaoccao>n.

aal wrlice oCon few pbyMCaltootherrh aauK be bndeed.Mt>|e< are ooueeaod to eat

aaotter e* looedi only by eaeanhat may bcconie ilmoM unpauable la the rimy aeaion.

The Thai Covornment hai taken important (tcpi to brc.icli ihe aeUlJon of the plateau.t completed the Frtendihip Highway fiom Sari Burl In thekhon Ralchaiima (Kho'it) and lubicquently ii cxiodcd (he road norlliward to Nong Khal. Tbo

m prodttctd byrtjwd hit.cmWi tlItiti&KrVt. Mallanil Fan-alri. and tvantual completion and improvement of ihe roadfrom ihe itrategiciilly importunt'aphao (llm2 airfield) complei to Nikhori naiihanmi. ai veil ai th* cooitrucllon of ruo roadi into thetem part of the(the loadi from Lorn Sal ti Ihe central Wlandi to Oum ?hae and Lee*.aim herp tie (he plateau io (hewdi Unorr Iheear hiebwayewhagrnay wtl replace theenHani [IS6efi)aioa NakSon lo ibeaofuoij of Nakhonad willbe eBnatnjcted alorg (he Mekong border area from Nong Khai to th* province capital at NakhonBoth of thea* tuadi ar* under> road will conibeel Nalibcei fUlcliniiini with Ubon Rn'chalhanl (Ubon or Ubol) and ihe pretcnt reed betweennd Ubixi Ratrhilbani will be improved lo male it an nll-wsalhei. Artl-cUii highway. Many wcondary loada cvnreeting ivulaled vilUgea la veoirrly teiu.live province! are being planneal and corutrucled under

Had aad ae "iKiport faealaUn are abo beaag an-pro.td Th*ine fror. Bangkok bufaroati at Nakbon Ralchaiimaends nealhwatd to Noog Kbai and eaicward to Wann Chamrap, the rail iratum for Ubon Patchathanl Civil itrllnei link Bangkok with mot* major towni on (lie plateau.

Population

Cultural differences and. frequently. >eryin aid.tlon to (be pbytical Isolation ot th*to b*he ftof IheMr towith (be central apverragweitof central Thailaed. partmlarly that(teat urban teMtt of Bangkok, cornel ai alo (he many peasanu from the ixMthaatlwork in the city. Bangkekiini lookihe nnrrboatlemerustic bumpkin whospeak "proper- Thai, he therefore finda II dlflcultwith them. In contrast, the peaaanl wliowork in Laosullure,language much hie those of his hen*In MM wayi hn (dewlocation ii etMihe ceBtral Thai Tbla eafcuial affcfiHyled to aoM*m

past and I*ar aa Baragfcok tbatekntnvttry to eiplott thesen4er<nM*of lb* nolovernment over th*

Althoughpeaiant in tbe norlheait (ends io relale to the Lao, It teeini more realistic to chjricttnr* both is cultural ld*nllly and loyalty ai kcslism.sdefined by (he. village limits. Such aitiiudet nr* eing diKOuraged by Thai Government programsj tadio bruadcasti which cnoourage the villager to Irani, end local orinlalutm and to Identdy with wider arg. vents of the noithrtil aosetjucnee of theseenae of tegianaltf eptrnrmed by the aansitt ijpeiriiig lua denotes to the Thai that - Dfovjtfy ataoetanrd wrrb tbe raartheait. as naetailad to the mtcrtTti and goalientral Thailand Iran dendtt. ^iv* however, doeses<ardy imply rigid aolinrtbon be-tween lb* northeit( and ceaeral Thailand. Th*ay' does have certain attraction) for ihei'.ligir, and greater acculturation will piobablychieved through government programs umber ol ruinbcailernert are being accepted in Tbnl

m4*A

ConjUdentJal

of narienel idtcriHano* r. aortV

t Thaialed be the pretence of Mttftl

wdaW end the* chjinelue* the Cunboeim wTO.COOi Thai CODXKICiameiedegree toatimUaiad

> Ihe predominant culture ot northeatt Thailand let, bill voiy few of the people identify wlihj> :hn Vtcrnamtio ire considered to be Humifyr duiuptwn loicet and the cenli.ili regitttrrdot them.

ambodlaotI. retain their owng torn* eirenl ihev culture. The Xutt (ntontnown at th* Sosi) aad th* Ftw Thai. tnW ;piei oho there in the cemrocn partem ef Me hi the

rtheatt. are very much, low of the* da>*ictt>e

-ntity. They lendany woia theirlien fed hnrh envy and hostility ic- lid id' central

* more0 Vietnamese citimated to-

in Thailand before WJtl,o North

apwmh ot the twoul*au

waww are toil to Thatbad and (boat

the ettunalrd BOX on the Html Plateau wenjiiicrcd [tee Map MSU). The majorityovertly militant, hot they ire lobjeet to North Via*

mete Influence and arethorn In tbe tide of That

urtly.

foe ion

The poverty of theural pheriaai-lon The average oleoma of the nntheatiemnly aboutercent of that prevailji^rvn! ia ihe country, whereat the tooaana ofm* here eeangawea favorably with thai to otheror Tra^and Th* daNnbonoa of oacraae aha iaarong the rural population Thai*f ultaeeit la th*eportedamei at taurh eaih KBQMM it capita at the ts pemnt In tt* lo**it inconvt eate-xj. Famert in th* latin pOup avetagenual eaih inrame per cap.li. the inclution of ji-bnd come wocld eonilderably rait* ihli fieuo.niiid alei Operationi Mutton (b'SOM) advboi ha>fi howevtr. that the vtllaeei In itorthnait ThiilanJ.

(Iter oft inaloilally than the vatt majority of people in many otter parti ofurvry of villaje att-Adei atThaJand eandiachrd la the tpneff> produced th* furpriaiafj reipoua that aaeat rJlaeen tated"rcatoaably wall of" rather than "poo "

More than ti paicant of the economically activederlvci in livelihood fromWh over HO percent ol the cultivated lard In moit northeastern provincei devol'd to rice production. At In the rett of Thailand, rice ii the matt leipartant crop, but the yield ii poor In IQM rice production averagedjr<li per aer* at the oortbeaif compared tooondt perhe trtail kowtandi Eaaeerbat^igKtuanon Mhagh aotntional popalatMai density [the iiambu of people per tqaare mil* of cutrrMTeifin the northcajt comparedn the

h

Js

The pootei yield of no in the norlheail B) eaplained largely Ii of ihe natural environment "he border-haf oorpmw unercepti MHare-baersrtg winds from theandsi-ishedew that reduces both ihe aeaoant and reriabality of rainfalleas-tci-ueacc moat of eh* plateau imrre* fee kn than she acceptedf TO sacra* an* jetty that ii requrod for thegrowth of he* at tropical Soolheatt

Aaia.hetrfete required for aptimam rice cultivationha northeast Onlyercent of tbe cropland of the region ia Ungated, however, at againstercent of th* cropland hi tha eeniial lowland.permeable undy Mill and Ih* relatively level terrain of northeaii Thailand restrict the number of locations, tillable for ilroble ristrvoin and hinder the design of eHrctlvB irrigation lyttimi,

Most low-lying land tultabl* for Irrigated paddyalready under rice cultivation. Thlt land Isin the central and aouihem provinces,Mac Nam {River) Mun and Lam Nam (River)their tnbutatiei. and generally on the lovertbovr the valley bortorr-i, which In manyc subject to mane gradients ofthe i. iPUtraj tie comparatively lowr.eer. thealla only ODD featnaaefl nso taddeory. .,

to deep, and rconetrtt to loo* that lorne of the badculrivetioa cannot beariety comnveo'y grown in

Mast of the area devoted to Irrigated tic* cultivation ia located on the to-called "Hot Er" Mill, which are gen-eratty acid, sandy loams, giving medium yieMi at best Chemical lertiliier moiluliiiral innovation and hi) seldom been used by ih* peasant. Further, without heavy subelditation. ihe peasant rarely has the cash to buy the necessary fc-rtiKior; to rnmedy ttitt sltua lion the government It encouraging the formation of cooperative! which will furniili loani lo the peasantinimal interest rata Outside trie irrigated areas, the peasant cannot alwayi be aisuredi ot table relibon-ship between fcrtiliiei coat and increased rice yield even though he nay ba gradually accepting the concept of

tienuci! leTti.iiatio-i

Oerenoralioo ef th* aaleiil fertility of the tot] ba* cacxd neea aaianded to oiargiaa: lands. Th* movement of people away from the moat detuely fettledf th* Man and Oat river vaaVyi (aaaafa a> northern Thailand) aHordi evaieocemnonalhet*acornirg erttteal. Although the potential paddy landi in thinly settled provinces along tha Mekong River might support greaterignificant redistribution of the population on the KJiofti Plateau in tha near future tppei" to be generally uritrnitbla In view of tha limitations ofwurka planned for rrnrly completion. Projected tank* Ireiiivolii) and dami will remit In complete irrigation sysicoii for only tome ID percent of the presentarra. Not until the huge, multipurpose Fa Mong dam of tha Mekong Projectealily Hi lb* more distant future will It be potiibi* loillion acta* ot about IS percent of the present cultivatedthe Khoral Plateau. Seated proposed aad completed Mekong rVOfecr darns tic showe or. Map

Other than nee. theown co the Khorar Plateau are cotton, kenafbarndhese 'uplandre generally cultivated on higher slope) by peasantsh-ftuig type ofSlopalaod is cleared by carting and burning the forar. and the crop ia far till led by tha residual wood ashes. Pices are normally cultivatedew years; further use ii inhibitedapid diminution Ot yield

Th* area suitable for graving uplandicimated to be at Itait twice at largo ai the area of paddy land While thii shifting cultivation may be acceptable in thinly sallied, neat wherelong period of bush fallow restores fertility. In parts of the central and southern provinces, of th* northern the growing population density has progressively shortened the period of natural Mil regeneration;esult, tha land Is becomingxhausted An estimated CO percent of Ihe upland now bes abandoned. Tha Introductionystem of perma-neat agriculture lo replace shifting agriculture would tigniScantly improve economic conditions in the region-

Future eiplostatvm ef irveitl trtourcaa eaaytrtwuVatt Accord tagurvey conducted recentlyS Ceolotjeal Survey teas, ihrra are an eibevatrd T8ott of copper ore (rcprcaenttngO0 teen of aalaablt aaaui) and IT mJLor ton of Hen or* n> tha peovtoce -'AlUsough cetmg coal reaourtai are Laesuig. power generated at the planned Mekong F'oject dam on the Nam (ftivar) Ngum in Laos might permit tbe use of electric furnacesmelter which could be built in the vMuuty of Loci. Th* Khoral Plateau also has one of the world's largest depot lis of rock salt; well drillers have encountered layen of sail moraeet thick.N Makong Commit toe Secretariat la eumining the feasibility ofhemical complec most likely In the province of Chatyaphum, which could use up0 tons of sail annually.

Ory poddyTermite

roni middle-giovd,ore

surrounding poddy.

ji at9 truncated end plo-led lo isgilsblaL Resin, used lor lorchiiend lorboats and beiketl. la extracted tram Ih* large yc^vg Irsei In Ihs borVciravnd*formi-B* end saiior-

llve activities ore avidemeSe tvbslsieeee lormingwhiih mos> norlheosl i

Couniue I

Tho Thii Government with tho advice and aid of various US Coagencies hasumber of steps designed to strengthen Hi ptisirkm in the northeast Sinceivic action programs lhat iireu the improve mot of health aad educartonal facilities, wet) drill ag eV-elopene.-it of egneastsral lirtinlqaai. and lamled road Echoingeen carried en (mder the aegu of the MobC* De-xtofTwrw Vasts (MDU! ie> the Notaortol Se-eaeitv Ccearaatadha AcceWiated Rural De--tornaeM (AAD) iwefetm wai eMabi ashed ander th* ei-.uae controlsdaac* of th*i.iiT.ar and Operational Planning (COOP) si anto meet tha Communist challenge mora etfect.-el. Itehicle foe acealaratad.oUowap to MDU area operation* andew concept tiil cnncrnti'granting of all rural development efforts in critical area*.

6 the Counter Subversion Operandi*iiiiC? entatilished to coordinate the cot-ntcriubver. Sinn effort* cf al. Thai Government agencies operating throughout |h- CCnIry. developed theplan" inamc dented fioenunar calendaroirmcr.lyhe "dry icaion plan' (operations were to be earned outhe winter-spring drybandoned the previously used but generally irseHeeuve large-scale sweeps ef suspected insurgent arias by Thai security forces. Instead, it placed IZ-mmi squads and police reinforcementselected villages, located inriority areasecurity-sensitive provinces, with the objective cf denying insurgents access to the population and resources. This measure has proved successful in forcing Communist bands lo move out of their former strongholds, butesult they have increased their activities in adjacent areas.

.

The insurgency threat in Thailand is mitigatedforces for stability that did not prevailtrong and effective centrala history of independence of foreign control,tradition of reverence fee the king and monarchy,universal acceptance of Buddhism, andprosperity by Asian standards- It isthat these stabilizing, forces apply chieflyThailand;leas favorable situation prevailsrural areas of the northeast. The generallyof the northeasr neither commits himsellto ttie central government nor shares to anyin ihe benefits of ihe current prosperity..to be no active widespread disaifection withal present, but the Communist cadre,beringinsurgents, is attempting to

disaffection through propaganda, often presented

at compulsory propaganda sessions in the villages,hough trnorls.nl

The.combined developmental and security programs of ihe central governmentonumental task of social and administrative reform, and one that, if it is rr> Succeed, must persuade the villagers that their aspirations can be better met by the government than by the Communists.

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