Indochina - Increased Military Aid to Thailand: Statement Released by the Department of Defense, July 13, 1954(1)

The Department of Defense on July 13 announced a new program of increased military aid and technical assistance to the Government of Thailand.

As a result of staff talks recently concluded between Department of Defense officials and a Thai military mission headed by Gen. Srisdi Dhanarajata, Deputy Defense Minister and Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army, a new and additional military-assistance program has been approved for the Thais so as to increase the capability of the Thai armed forces to resist aggression.

Additional emphasis will also be placed on the accelerated development of junior officers, noncommissioned officers, and technical personnel, the announcement stated. The program calls for additional support for Thai training activities, including the provision of weapons, equipment, and technical and training assistance in their use.

In addition to the military-aid grant, the Department of Defense also announced that approximately $3 million was being made available to the Thai Government for the construction of a highway from Saraburi, in Central Thailand, through Korat, to Ban Phai, a distance of 297 miles.

While this highway will be of strategic value in case of military operations in Thailand, its value to the economy of the country will be considerable, the announcement stated.

The program will be administered in Thailand by a Joint U. S. Military Aid Group headed by Maj. Gen. W. N. Fillmore, U. S. Army.

(1) Department of State Bulletin, July 26, 1954, p. 125. Back

American Foreign Policy 1950-1955
Basic Documents Volumes I and II
Department of State Publication 6446
General Foreign Policy Series 117
Washington, DC : U.S. Governemnt Printing Office, 1957

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