Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US military engagement on rise

US military engagement on rise

A Senior United States defence official denied yesterday that increased US military involvement with Cambodia was a reaction to concerns aired in Washington last month that China was conducting a “charm offensive” in the Kingdom. 

Capping off two days of “fruitful” meetings with Cambodia’s Ministry of National Defence, Robert Scher told a press conference the concerns, raised in a report by a Washington think-tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, were not the basis of his visit.  

“We are happy to have China as a responsible actor in the regional community, and we really are not basing any of our engagement opportunities in opposition to, or in conflict with, anyone,” he said.

Scher, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia, said the US Defence Department was becoming increasingly interested in what it was seeing as an improved and more receptive Cambodian armed force.

“We now see a Royal Cambodian Armed Force and a Ministry of National Defence that is open and willing and pursuing the right path for how the military fits into the system of governance. Based on that, we are able to engage more,” he said.

Scher’s visit comes amid a  flurry of US military engagement in the Kingdom. In August, Brigadier-General Richard Simcock, the US Defence Department’s principal adviser for South and Southeast Asia, paid a three-day visit to the Kingdom.

Yesterday marked the last day of the second Co-operation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise, a military exchange program between the US and Cambodia designed to improve the latter’s naval capacity.

The week of activities included a ceremony at the Sihan-oukville Port last Saturday.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Kem Sokha talks politics, power and Hun Sen

Kem Sokha, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, sat down with The Post’s Alex Willemyns and Mech Dara to discuss his supporters’ initial disappointment with this year’s

Phnom Penh eats: Dine amid green gardens at Chol Chet

Located just off National Road 1 about 9km south of central Phnom Penh, Chol Chet — which means 'like' in Khmer — is a great getaway from the bustle of the capital.

NEC officials tally votes during a recount last week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia’s National Election Committee last week rejected 33 of 61 complaints filed over the conduct of June 4’s commune election, according to a s

People search for their names on the voter lists at a polling station in Kampong Cham’s Veal Vong commune earlier this month.

Four years ago, when the opposition snatched Kampong Cham away from the ruling party in 2013 national elections, it hinted at a deeper shift taking