PACOM commander urges democracy as Cobra Gold kicks off in Thailand

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Students receive Cobra Gold stickers and coloring books at Ban Nong Mee, Buri Ram Province, Thailand, Feb. 3, 2017. The exercise, one of the world's largest multinational military events, kicked off Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. MAXIMILIANO ROSAS/U.S. MARINE CORPS
From Stripes.com
Students receive Cobra Gold stickers and coloring books at Ban Nong Mee, Buri Ram Province, Thailand, Feb. 3, 2017. The exercise, one of the world's largest multinational military events, kicked off Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. MAXIMILIANO ROSAS/U.S. MARINE CORPS

PACOM commander urges democracy as Cobra Gold kicks off in Thailand

by: Leon Cook | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: February 15, 2017

The head of Pacific Command called on Thailand to return to democracy, as one of the world’s largest multinational military events kicked off Tuesday.

Now in its 36th year, Cobra Gold includes more than 8,000 participants and observers from 29 countries, including 3,600 servicemembers from the United States.

"We look forward to Thailand's reemergence as a flourishing democracy because we need Thailand as a strong and stable ally," Adm. Harry Harris said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. "We need Thailand to get back to being the regional and global leader that it always has been."

Harris is the highest-ranking American military official to visit Thailand since a 2014 coup put the country under military rule.

Under the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act, American forces are limited in the training they can conduct alongside nations that have overthrown a democratically elected government.

Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/1.453880

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