U.S. and 30 countries participate in the largest military maneuvers in Southeast Asia in the midst of escalation with China
Thailand and the United States kicked off the 42nd edition of the Cobra Gold maneuvers on Tuesday, the largest military exercises in Southeast Asia. and which this year return on a large scale after the covid-19 pandemic, with the participation of thousands of soldiers from some thirty countries, including 6,000 Americans.
Until next March 10, the defense forces will develop in the eastern region of Thailand a series of training, workshops and projects with the aim of sharing military maneuvers and tactics on the battlefield, U.S. and Thai Defense sources reported.
At a time of growing tension between Washington and Beijing, the soldiers will also explore new technologies and military equipment.
After fairly small-scale editions in 2021 and 2022, the Cobra Gold exercises are back in force this year and will involve the participation of ttions from some thirty countries, including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea, plus 6,000 U.S. troops and some 3,000 Thai troops.
Other nations, such as China, India and Australia, will participate in. humanitarian and relief exercises. while another ten or so countries will integrate workshops for multinational operational planning.
Ten others, including Cambodia, Germany and Vietnam, will be observers, while Burma (Myanmar) has not been present at the exercises since the February 2021 military coup.
“Through Cobra Gold, we demonstrate our determination to respond jointly to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific so that all nations can keep the peace, stability and prosperity“, said U.S. Indo-Pacific Command commander Admiral John Aquilino at the opening ceremony of the maneuvers.
The return of the large-scale maneuvers, begun more than four decades ago at the height of the Cold War, comes at a time of escalating tensions between China and the United Stateswhich, together with its allies in the Pacific region, is concerned about the growing influence of the Asian giant in this strategic area.