A scaled-down version of the annual ‘Cobra Gold’ joint military exercise between the US and Thailand will conclude today. Launched
A scaled-down version of the annual ‘Cobra Gold’ joint military exercise between the US and Thailand will conclude today.
Launched in 1982, Cobra Gold is the world’s longest-running multinational military exercise. This year’s two-week edition is smaller without traditional war games and instead focuses on humanitarian training drills. 1,200 American and 2,000 Thai troops will be joined by military personnel from India, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, and China.
The exercise’s conclusion follows months of heightened tension in the Indo-Pacific region following September 2021’s AUKUS submarine deal. China’s expanding military presence is a point of concern for key US allies including Japan, South Korea and Australia.
Cobra Gold serves as a reminder that the US is still intently focused on the Indo-Pacific region despite the crisis in Ukraine. The exercise represents a key platform for the US to forge military cooperation in Asia and reassure strategic partners. While the COVID-19 pandemic is partly to blame for the reduced size, the removal of war games and a larger focus on humanitarian aid exercises also stops the US and China from demonstrating their full military doctrine and capabilities to each other, which neither wants and prevents further agitation.
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