Withdrawal of U.S. Forces from Thailand:

Ways to Improve Future Withdrawal Operations

LCD-77-402: Published: Jun 3, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 1982.

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The Royal Thailand Government request that the United States withdraw its combat forces from Thailand resulted in a phasedown from 27,000 military personnel in the country in March 1975 to less than 250 as of July 20, 1976.

Through the cooperation of the Thai Government and agreements reached during phasedown and withdrawal, the operation was a success. One of the objectives of the phasedown was to maintain the best possible relations with Thailand. Items reported as excess to U.S. needs were turned over to the Thai Government. Although some improvements are needed in planning, managing, and coordinating withdrawal operations, millions of dollars of material were distributed to Pacific bases and to other U.S. installations to satisfy valid needs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: (1) direct that definite criteria for the peacetime withdrawal of U.S. forces from other countries be established, including policies and procedures for scaled as well as complete withdrawals; (2) designate a single manager responsible for coordinating withdrawal operations; and (3) designate at each closing base a team under a manager with knowledge of overall defense requirements, and give this team authority to immediately withdraw or dispose of assets. In negotiating future basing agreements, the Secretary of Defense should, in cooperation with the Secretary of State, include provisions for protecting U.S. investments, either through their return or appropriate compensation for them, and for moving retrograde material without hindrance.

    Agency Affected:

 

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