News / Asia

US Begins Talks on Expanding Philippines Military Presence

VOA News
The United States and the Philippines have opened talks on expanding the American military presence in the Southeast Asian nation. The two sides are negotiating an agreement that would allow U.S. forces and military equipment temporary access to Philippine defense camps.

Manila is pushing to bolster its defenses as China presses maritime claims to most of the mineral and energy-rich South China Sea. Philippine officials say having an increased U.S. rotational presence would help support the country's "minimum credible defense" posture.

On Monday, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said that the Philippines was determined to use diplomacy to resolve the disputes, but stressed the government would do everything to protect its territory.

"Our region needs to know that we are steadfastly for peace," del Rosario said. "But that we stand ready to tap every resource, to call on every alliance, to do what is necessary, to defend what is ours, to secure our nation and to keep our people safe."

Earlier this month, the Philippines took formal possession of a refurbished former U.S. Coast Guard cutter obtained under a bilateral military alliance with Washington. The vessel joins another former U.S. cutter recommissioned by the Philippines in 2011.

John Blaxland, a senior fellow at the Strategic and Defense Center at the Australian National University, suggests the talks are mutually beneficial.

"The Philippines is looking to clearly bolster its position in a situation where, for years, it has been the lowest-spending in the region on defense matters, and contrast that with neighboring countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore, and it's been happy for the United States to pick up a bit of the bill there in terms of dealing with Islamic insurgency in the south and in terms of, basically, the security umbrella that's been implicit in the mutual defense treaty with the United States," Blaxland said.

He added that the United States is looking to shift its balance around the Pacific.

"If you think about where it's postured, on the DMZ in Korea, on Okinawa, on Guam, it's got a very small foothold upon which to base ground forces and upon which it can use air bases and naval facilities," he said. "So, being able to expand its footprint in the Philippines, much like it did in the Cold War, it makes a lot of sense in terms of giving the United States some strategic options."

The Philippines was host to U.S. bases that were home to tens of thousands of service members until domestic pressure forced them to close in 1991.

An agreement in 1999 allowed for the resumption of joint military training exercises. Since 2002, hundreds of U.S. troops have been providing training to Philippine troops battling Islamic militants in the south.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mhee from: Cordillera
August 14, 2013 12:33 PM
I wonder why Ms. Aquino remove the US bases,well in fact they don't interfere Philippines affair.I remember Camp John Hay(former US base here in our place), it was so clean you can lay down because it was being cared, compared it now not well cared!

In Response

by: Sam
August 16, 2013 5:39 AM
Excuse me, do you seriously think they have nothing to do the with our country's affairs? In fact, increasing US military presence in the PH has only triggered China to strengthen their defenses and be more aggressive with the South China Sea dispute. You think this is about keeping some historical parks clean so you can lie down on it? Tut tut.

In Response

by: TIMOTHY HECK from: NEW JERSEY
August 15, 2013 7:15 AM
ITS NOT TOO LATE GET THE COUNTRY ON BOARD AND OFFER NEW LEASES TO THE USA TO BRING BACK THE FLEET AND THE AIR FORCE.
NOW THAT MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA FOR GETTING MORE JOBS INTO THE COUNTRY AND WELL.

In Response

by: dennis from: taipei
August 14, 2013 7:09 PM
nope, it wasn't cory who wanted the us bases out. it was the senate. it was our fault, we voted for them and we paid for it dearly. hope the younger generation make better choices.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid