Bangkok, September 5, 2023 – Thailand’s Defence Minister, Sutin Klungsang, has officially confirmed a pivotal shift in the nation’s military strategy. In accordance with the new government’s policies, the military has set forth plans for an immediate reduction in military conscription quotas.
The announcement came following high-level discussions held on September 3, where Minister Sutin and Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin convened with incoming military leaders. The talks delved into the country’s prevailing circumstances, addressed pressing issues, and facilitated a mutual exchange of requirements and demands from both the government and the military.
Both the government and the military have affirmed their alignment on several policy objectives, with a paramount focus on transitioning towards a voluntary military service system. This shared vision underscores a significant departure from the current conscription-based model. Additionally, the discussions underscored the military’s need for comprehensive government support across various facets of its operations.
Highlighting their proactive approach toward organizational enhancements and adherence to government directives, the military emphasized its commitment to keeping the government apprised of any potential future challenges.
When questioned about the timeline for implementing these transformative measures, Minister Sutin offered assurance that tangible results would swiftly become evident. Specifically, the transition to a voluntary military service system, expected to be completed by April 2024, will lead to a substantial reduction in military conscription quotas. Addressing concerns about an excessive number of high-ranking officers within the armed forces, the Defense Minister revealed plans for a gradual downsizing of the military’s overall personnel.
The precise percentage of this reduction is presently the subject of careful deliberation, with the military actively engaged in formulating the proposed figures. While these plans have been internally discussed, they have not yet been disclosed to the public, leaving many eager to learn more about the specifics of this major shift in Thailand’s military policy.