News / Asia

New US Ambassador to Philippines Pushes for US Troop Rotation Agreement

FILE - Then Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research Philip Goldberg testifies before a full committee hearing, March 12, 2013.
FILE - Then Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research Philip Goldberg testifies before a full committee hearing, March 12, 2013.
Simone Orendain
The new United States ambassador to the Philippines said he hopes an agreement between the two countries to have more U.S. troop visits will be signed “as soon as possible.”
 
Philip Goldberg presented his credentials to President Benigno Aquino on Monday morning in Manila. Afterwards, he made his pitch on state-run television for an agreement under negotiation that would see more visits from U.S. military forces to the Philippines.
 
Goldberg said the ongoing typhoon relief operations by American forces are a good example of the kind of assistance that would be boosted by the agreement.
 
“The ability to have that a little bit faster and more efficiently will always be of help. There are reasons to build minimal defense capability and maritime defense awareness. That will come with a framework agreement,” said Goldberg.
 
Under the agreement, the U.S. is seeking access to areas in the Philippines where it could dock ships, land aircraft and store equipment. Talks between both parties came to a standstill in October after Philippine negotiators said they needed more time to study issues. The Philippines has reiterated that terms must comply with its constitution, which does not allow permanent basing by outside countries.
 
The Philippines has said having more training opportunities with a visible American presence would help form a “minimum credible defense posture.” The Philippines is locked in a row with China over rocks and outcroppings in the South China Sea that are claimed by both nations.
 
Last week, the Philippine foreign minister pressed for a conclusion to the talks, saying the U.S.’s humanitarian operations in the typhoon zone showed the need for such an agreement.
 
Carl Baker with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said Goldberg’s first public statement “makes sense.”
 
“It’s trying to send a message to the Filipinos that this isn’t just about U.S interests. That he’s there to serve Filipino interests as well as U.S. interests and this is one example of how they do that,” explained Baker.
 
The U.S. had bases in the Philippines for nearly a century; the archipelago was a U.S. colony for half a century. However, domestic pressure saw the bases close in 1992. Baker said some special interest groups in the Philippines continue to voice opposition to any U.S. troop presence in the country.
 
Baker also said that Goldberg’s arrival in Manila comes at a time that there is a high level of visibility of American forces here doing humanitarian work.
 
Goldberg, a career diplomat, comes to the Philippines after a three-year stint as assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department’s intelligence and research bureau. Before that he was part of a team that oversaw sanctions against North Korea. Goldberg’s term as ambassador to Bolivia was cut short in 2008 after President Evo Morales expelled him, accusing him of spying for the opposition.
 
Goldberg said the U.S. sees China’s demand that all aircraft identify themselves when flying in its declared airspace over the East China Sea as a move that will increase tensions and “create miscalculations.” China and Japan are in a heated dispute over islets in that sea.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More