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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid