June 19, 2011
Cambodia current military " Lack Of" has its own reasons. Understand this, Cambodia as a nation, resurrected after the Vietnameses withdrew from Cambodia after over 10 of occupation. So technically, Cambodia is only 21 years old. To me, Cambodia was reborned. Prior to this, everything was wiped out because of the political madness that spawn the Khmer Rouge regime and their brought about of death and destruction on Cambodia. When UNTAC with the involvement of 5 UNSC( U.S, Russia, France, Britain, and China) members and all Khmer fighting factions, and the communist Vietnam decides to a sit down and agreed on a ceasefire, this was a start of a new beginning for Cambodia after over 30 years of war. Cambodia motion of history begins a new recording. Cambodia was to be a nation free of violence and war conflicts. With the corrupted and incompetancy of Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government, which was puppeteered by Hanoi, Cambodia is still rank among the least developed nation in Asia. This painfully slow pace of rebuilding Cambodia also trickle down to national defense. Cambodia was betting on the international community who had helped to stop the war, to protect her. Little did Cambodia know that Thailand desire to expand its territory is still a national pastime idealogy. According to UNTAC, Cambodia military was to kept to a minimal. National defense expenditure was only about 1-2 percent or around $100-$200 millions dollars. This is scraping the bottom of the bucket expenses. Thailand know that this is Cambodia's disadvantage. This is why Thailand is looking for a reason to start a fight so to encroach into Cambodia for the purpose of expanding its territory. So when Cambodia decided to have Preah Vihear listed under UNESCO in July 8, 2008, Thailand saw a perfect reason to use force to take down Cambodia.
I'm an optimist for Cambodia. I grew up in America for about the last 35 years. Yes, I'm an oversea Cambodian, however; this does not earned me the right to verbally attack and criticize Cambodia or her military to the point of being called an Enemy Advocate. We as Cambodian anywhere around the world should be proud of our military, even if it may appear less than that of Thailand's. Just because some of us dislike Prime Minister Hun Sen, does not mean we should also attack Cambodian military due to his lack of seriousness in national defense.
Thailand aggression was a rude awakening for Prime Minister Hun Sen. I'm sure he saw what Cambodia is up against. A few years back, Cambodian lawmakers voted to increase military expenses to about $500 millions. At the same time tighten military mismanagement spending, increase training, and purchase more military hardwares. It will takes times, maybe as far as 5-10 years to fully modernize Cambodian military. Cambodia's economy is a top priority. Cambodia must create a revenue generating machines in order to have income to feed soldiers and fuel those military machines. Cambodia is moving forward at a faster pace now that economy is starting to pick up again. I have no doubt that more funds will be allocate to cambodia's national defense.