Figure 13. Areas of Insurgent and Separatist Activity, 1987.
Figure 14. Areas of External Threat and Instability, 1987.
Persistent armed insurgency had been viewed by a succession of Thai governments as the nation’s greatest long-term security problem. In the early 1980s, although insurgent activity had been virtually eliminated, the Thai government continued to fear a recurrence of the problem. Bounded on the west by Burma and on the south by Malaysia, where domestic insurgencies also plagued governing powers, Thailand continued to guard against the spread of such activity across its borders. With the threat of its own communist-supported insurgency lessened by the early 1980s, the Thai government strengthened its defenses against attack by external armed forces as large contingents of Vietnamese army troops continued to occupy neighboring Cambodia.