Security Challenges
Volume 13, No.1 (2017)

A Great Place to Have a War

In 2015 I was fortunate enough to accompany the late strategic studies scholar Des Ball on his last trip to Thailand. In the latter part of his career Des had researched and published several books on Thailand’s paramilitary units. During the trip, he was keen to pass on his knowledge and contacts. Des talked about Bill Lair, the American who had helped found and train Thailand’s crack paratrooper outfit the Police Aerial Reconnaissance Unit, usually known by the acronym PARU. His fascination in Lair was apparent. He also talked about Henry Kissinger and here his tone was quite different; a note of distaste and in fact loathing was evident.

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