US Cuts Military Aid After Thailand Coup

Gen. Odierno: Thailand Must Restore 'Democratic Principles'

The Obama Administration has suspended US military aid to Thailand after this week’s coup, and is halting “non-essential” visits by US government officials to the country.

The administration was reluctant to recognize the Thai coup, initially defending the takeover as “constitutional.” When Thailand’s military started calling it a coup, however, the ruse was over, and Obama was obliged under US law to make the cut.

That’s in keeping with the administration’s reaction to other coups, as the one in Egypt, which the US still hasn’t officially “recognized,” and has not led to cutting the much larger military aid sent there.

Army chief Gen. Ray Odierno called Thailand’s new junta chief today, urging the quick restoration of “democratic principles” to the country. It is unclear what that actually means, but with the junta talking about making wholesale reforms before even considering elections, it is likely the US will look for some pretense to declare the coup “over” pretty quickly, and Thailand will probably see US military aid back long before they see the return to civilian rule.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.