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

    Water Scarcity Could Push Conflict, Migration by 2050

    Warning comes in a new report from the World Bank titled "High and Dry: Climate Change, Water and the Economy"

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    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.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora