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May 24, 2014
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Government of Thailand Overthrown,
USGOV Warns Americans to Steer Clear
May 24, 2014
Between May 19-23, 2014, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash messages to subscriber mobile devices:

5/23 (e) State Dept formally advises US citizens and official USGOV travelers to defer all non-essential trips to Thailand until further notice.

5/22 (d) All radio and TV stations in Thailand ordered off air except for official army msgs. Internet access may also be cut. New USGOV travel warning forthcoming.

5/22 (c) US Embassy Bangkok issues updated guidance . Shots fired in capital, constitution suspended, US-Thai military cooperation suspended.

5/22 (b) Thai army chief announces military coup d'etat, says necessary to restore stability. Nationwide curfew declared 10PM - 5AM. New USGOV travel advice forthcoming.

5/19 (a) Thailand's army declares martial law. Possible coup underway. U.S. citizens in or traveling to Thailand advised to avoid all demonstrations and remain vigilant.

What You Need To Know

On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified this week via text messages to their mobile devices regarding what started Monday as a declaration of martial law in Thailand and which has since evolved into a military coup. The events have unfolded after 6 months of increasingly violent and destabilizing protests over political infighting and government corruption.

Following bitter meetings on Wednesday and early Thursday between the rival political factions and Thai military representatives, the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army is reported to have slammed his hand on the negotiating table in anger and stated, "I have decided to seize power.

Since that time, a nationwide curfew has been put into effect from 10PM to 5AM. The Thai constitution has been scrapped with the exception of a section recognizing the King as the head of state. The Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army has assumed the responsibilities of acting Prime Minister and has ordered all radio and TV stations, including satellite and cable, to cease broadcasting their own content and to simulcast the Army TV station, Channel 5, in order to prevent the spread of misinformation. Schools nationwide have been ordered closed until at least Monday and a strict ban on public gatherings numbering more than 5 people has been put into effect. Shots have been fired by Thai Army soldiers in order to disperse crowds and border crossing points with Laos have been sealed so as to prevent political antagonists from fleeing the country.

There have been 11 previous coups as well as seven attempts in Thailand since the end of the country's absolute monarchy in 1932.

For those wondering why we are paying attention to events in Thailand, the capital Bangkok is the most frequently printed international airline destination on plane tickets in the world. In 2013, just under 16 million foreign visitors arrived in capital, and of that number, more than 800,000 were Americans. Tens of thousands of Americans reside in the country. Further, the U.S. and Thailand have shared a longstanding friendship spanning more than 175 years. Exchange and cooperation span a range of areas including education and culture, public health, business and trade, as well as close security and military cooperation. The Joint US Military Advisory Group Thailand, also known as JUSMAGTHAI, oversees an average of 40 different combined military exercises with Thai forces annually, one of the largest International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs in the world.

Despite these seemingly close ties, the State Department says the U.S. was given no advanced warning of the coup and on Thursday announced they have taken preliminary steps to suspend military engagement and assistance. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that there is "no justification for this military coup," and he urged the restoration of civilian government.

The U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK and several other countries are warning their citizens in Thailand of the volatility and danger of the situation, and of the need to strictly obey the local laws, steer well clear of all protests and large gatherings, to maintain situational awareness and to pay attention to local news reports.

AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor the overall situation in Thailand and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat environment or significant upgrades in travel guidance by the U.S. State Department, as events warrant.


5/20 Overnight: USGOV issues guidance re Thailand, China continues military buildup on Vietnam border, DoD ready to evac US Embassy Libya.

5/19 War Alert: China massing military forces in Guangxi, Yunnan provinces on border w/ Vietnam. 1000s of Chinese evacuated via ship in last 48 hrs. Monitoring...

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Chinese - Russian Joint Naval Exercise - ALLOW IMAGES
Russia and China: Best Frenemies
May 24, 2014
What You Need To Know

Russia and China began joint naval drills this week in the East China Sea. Known as Joint Sea-2014, the week long drills will be a combined operation acting against a hypothetical aggressor rather than the two countries operating separately during the exercise. This is the first time the Chinese navy has worked so closely with a foreign maritime force.

While the two countries have previously held joint military exercises, defense analysts state that China and Russia are learning from the example set by Western countries, such as war games currently underway with NATO, where separate military forces mix together. It also directly demonstrates a dramatic increase in trust between Beijing and Moscow.

The drill, being held in the East China Sea between Shanghai and Japan, includes ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft and shipboard helicopters. The exercises are reported to include defensive and attacking maneuvers, anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue operations, the storming hijacked ships, as well as joint efforts to identify aircraft flying over the East China Sea, where Beijing recently established a highly controversial air defense identification zone.

On Tuesday the 20th, the second day of the drills, Russia carried out yet another test firing of a TOPOL-M nuclear capable intercontinental ballistic missile from a launch facility approximately 450 miles from the Ukrainian border. As opposed to using an impact range on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Pacific, this time a target range in Kazakhstan was utilized, well away from the ongoing joint military drills.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the purpose of the launch was to test a new combat payload for future ICBMs reportedly capable of carrying up to 10 advanced warheads and hypersonic vehicles.

In order to fill out the picture of the increasing closeness of ties between Russia and China, we thought it would be useful to note that Russian President Vladimir Putin was in Beijing during the first three days of the military drills, during which he signed a massive $400 billion dollar natural gas supply agreement with the Chinese, one which the industry refers to as the "Holy Grail" of gas deals. The agreement is viewed as a windfall for both countries. For Russia, it means the addition of a major natural gas customer at a time where the West is imposing sanctions, and for the Chinese, as they are reported to have scored major price concessions, as well as the fact that the product will be delivered via overland pipelines as opposed to by sea. It is also important to point out that the two countries will settle payments in Rubles and Yuan, adding to the list of countries moving away from the increasingly troubled petro-dollar.

Your world is rapidly changing. The Asia-Pacific region is quickly becoming the next global hotspot. Conflicts are simmering between China and Japan, China and Taiwan, China and the Philippines, China and Vietnam, there is a military coup currently underway in Thailand and the U.S. is seemingly right in the middle of it all due to the ongoing pivot of military forces to the region as well as defense alliances with a number of different nations.

AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor developments in this region and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat environment as events warrant.

Travel Security Update

The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.

New USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings

See all USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings HERE.

Take Advantage of These Resources

Our social media channels provide a steady steam of important news and resources between issues of Threat Journal with little or no overlap of content. Combined with the AlertsUSA service for instant mobile notification of the really bad developments, you have an unmatched set of tools to keep yourself fully up to speed on the nation's threat environment. With times getting worse by the day, we urge you to utilize these resources.

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Ezekiel 33:2-6

"But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood."