For John, BLUF: US and Cambodian forces working together. Nothing to see here; just move along.
How many of us follow Voice of America (VOA)? Not as many as follow City Life, I suspect. Thus, I will quote this Wednesday, 22 May 2013 item in full. By the way, if you wish, you can Watch and Listen to VOA in Khmer
This item it titled Military Exercises Begin Between US, Cambodian Forces. The author is Suy Heimkhemra, VOA Khmer, and she wrote the piece on 17 May
PHNOM PENH - Joint military exercises between Cambodian and US forces began Thursday morning, the first of four days at training center outside Phnom Penh.Decades ago I provided close air support to Cambodian forces, in an unsuccessful battle against the Khmer Rouge. Maybe if the US Congress hadn't told us to stop those sorties it would have turned out differently. But, Richard Nixon was President and the Congress, controlled by the Democrats, felt that President Nixon was improperly and immorally extending the war that we had inherited from the French and which had been joined in ernest by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. I wish I had done a better job back in 1973.
The Angkor Sentinel exercises, held at the National Training Center for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces in Kampong Speu province, is the fourth to be held since 2010.
More than 300 Cambodian troops will take part in the training, which aims at improving their capability to take part in UN peacekeeping operations.
Moeung Samphan, secretary of state for the Ministry of Defense, said the training would further strengthen military ties between Cambodia and the US.
“This training is really appreciated, and significant for building and strengthening Cambodia’s military capacity to have professional skills, knowledge and real practice to effectively respond to the UN peacekeeping missions,” he said.
Exercises will be held at the command post and field training levels, including in the use of equipment to counter improvised explosive devices, officials said.
Jeff Daigle, deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy, said the exercises would put together Cambodian peacekeepers who are ready to be deployed in the field with US military personnel with extensive operational experience.
“This type of exercise is really important for helping the capability of the Cambodians for them to deploy,” he said. Cambodia has already made significant contributions to UN peacekeeping efforts outside of Cambodia, and the Angkor Sentinel exercises will help the continue to do so, he said. “And the American side is learning, as well,” he said.
Regards — Cliff