Thailand: Reciprocating a Kindness

A century ago, Abraham Lincoln received a letter from Anna's King of Siam offering a gift of elephants to "bear burdens and travel through uncleared woods and matted jungles where no carriage and cart roads have yet been made." The beasts might have served well in the Civil War's Battle of the Wilderness, but Lincoln politely declined the offer. The sentiment, however, was not forgotten.

From Bangkok to the Mekong valley last week, the $40-million-a-year U.S.-Thai military development program was proceeding apace. Two U.S. Army engineer battalions worked side by side in...

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