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Cobra Gold war games open in Thailand with most US troops for years

AsiaSoutheast Asia

Most US troops in years at Thailand’s Cobra Gold war games as Washington renews security ties

More than 6,000 US military personnel will be attending the multinational military exercise that runs until March 10 – the biggest showing in a decadeAnalysts say Washington is seeking to ‘recalibrate’ US-Thai relations ‘more on a par with China’, who Thailand has been moving closer to recentlyThailandTribune News ServicePublished: 2:02pm, 1 Mar, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Thailand kicked off an international military exercise with the biggest US attendance in a decade as Washington seeks to build on ties with a key security partner at a time of rising global geopolitical competition with Beijing.

The Cobra Gold military drill in Thailand, which runs from February 28 to March 10, is the largest joint military exercise in mainland Asia involving 30 countries. It has been running for more than four decades and this year was billed as a return to full-scale drills after the pandemic.

More than 6,000 US military personnel will be attending the war games – the biggest showing in a decade and Admiral John Aquilino, the top commander for the Indo-Pacific region, is taking part in a sign of renewed US-Thai security ties, said America’s envoy to Thailand Robert Godec.

“Cobra Gold helps build interoperability, advances our common interests, and serves as a demonstration of our dedication to our allies and partners in ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Godec said at the opening ceremony of the war games in Rayong province, east of Bangkok.

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