Friday, August 16, 2013

Military Cooperation Postsponement with the US is a Coincidence

The joint ceremony between the US and Cambodian armies
The US Navy Commander visited Cambodia

By ខែ្មរវឌ្ឃនកម្ម

        As Cambodian post-election crisis has intensified, the two parties have warned each other of consequences. The CNRP will call for the nationwide protest if their complaint of election fraud is not fairly investigated by the independent inquiry. In response, Prime Minister Hun Sen has deployed troops to encounter any possible demonstration against the election result. Simultaneously, he has ordered to temporarily suspend all military cooperation with the US and Australia. This coincident action by Hun Sen has raised some unanswered questions among the public. But there are two possible scenarios that have led to such a preposterous action: the fear of people uprising against his long dictatorial rule and a possible military coup from his own military generals.
      The excessive military deployment around the Capital City of Phnom Penh and some parts of the country is the pre-emptive strike Hun Sen has staged in order to intimidate the people to refrain from joining the possible mass protest and to put political pressure on the opposition to budge their demand. This is the conventional rule that Hun Sen has used against the opposition by showing up his forces along with negotiating tactics. If this strategy is unsuccessful, he may go back to his old Samkok Rule: to buy out and to break up the opposition as he had used against Son San party and Funcinpec successfully in the past 20 years. Now his old Samkok Rule seems useless and ineffective, for everyone is well aware of it, and the CNPR elected members are not Funcinpec or Sun San party in the past. Despite most of them are the remnants of the two old parties, but they are well-disciplined, experienced, courageous, and loyal members who have determined to bring change for the people and the country. Nonetheless, now their morale and loyalty are being tested again; we don't know how hard they can stand against the storm of  Hun Sen's Samkok Rule in the next few months; only the time can tell us.

       Along with the show off forces against the opposition, Hun Sen has postponed military cooperation with the US and Australia until the new government will be formed. This unprecedented move by Hun Sen has made the public doubt whether the US military implication with his regime can pose a danger for him in such an unstable situation. But history has proved that Hun Sen has a good reason to fear of any military coup from his own circle because military coup is likely to take place amid the time of crisis and typically when the country has military connection with the US. For instances, the military coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam 1962, the coup against King Sihanouk 1970, the coup against President Sukarno of Indonesia 1965, and the recent military coup against President Mohamed Mursi of Egypt. All these countries had military connection with the US at the time of the military coup. Probably these past incidents have haunted Hun Sen to temporarily cut off military connection with the US in order to stay away from the shadow of the CIA in the current crisis. And to make sure that his top military generals have no connections with the outside powers during this uncertain time. These precautionary moves have indicated that Hun Sen has feared to lose his power from multiple directions--losing election, people uprisings, military coup from his own generals, and the outside powers.
       The temporary military cooperation suspension with the US, the troops deployments, and the old Samkok Rule are the combined strategy Hun Sen has used to breakthrough this political crisis in order to save his undeserved power for another five years term. Although in such a dangerous position, Hun Sen still has more leverages than any other parties in this political game. Covertly and effectively backed by Hanoi, Hun Sen, who is on his way to become the longest serving prime minister in the world, has managed to survive all political crisis and to make all his opponents in a defensive position over the past 34 years. Any coup attempt against him is unlikely to happen in this time because he has obtained a strong intelligence network and possibly support from theVietnamese secret agent networks throughout the country. Any uprising by the people against his power will be met with violent crackdown by his security forces. And if the peaceful mass protest will take place in the near future, it will be met by counter-protest, which will turn into an uncontrolled situation as he has warned recently.        
          Thus, the opposition have to take precaution in every step they have moved through this unpredictable crisis.  And for the temporary military cooperation suspension with US at this time is just a coincidence of Hun Sen's combined strategy to minimize any unforeseen possible threat to his power in such a vulnerable situation. There is no other feasible assumption for this unprecedented move to temporarily suspend military cooperation with the US by the current regime.

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