Not McArthur This Time: But U.S. “Returns” to the Philippines 21st Century Style
2013-09-21 With the changing strategic situation in Asia, the government of the Philippines is reworking its relationship with the U.S. military.
According to sources in Manila, a key consideration is the mobility, which the evolving USMC brings to the stage.
As this source noted: “The Marines can move rapidly with the Osprey and other capabilities, so working with the US military means less about permanent basing than shaping capabilities for joint needs and operations.”
According to the Sun Star of Manila, the two sides are closing on a new agreement on military cooperation.
The two sides have just finished their third round of talk in Washington about two weeks ago. The parties are said to be “halfway through” the negotiations, but Sorreta (Foreign Affairs assistant secretary for American affairs in Department of Foreign Affairs) maintained there is no deadline in finishing the negotiations.
Once approved and signed, the agreement will pave way for more US troops to visit the country and intensify the joint military exercises between Washington and Manila.
The US will also regain access to former naval bases in Subic, Pampanga, as well as other military facilities.
The agreement will also allow the United States to build military structures in the country, although these would have to be turned over after the agreement passed its due. Normally, an agreement like this lasts 20 years but the Philippines is said to be looking at a shorter time frame…..
This increased presence also came at an opportune time for the Philippines, who is in the middle of a deepening territorial dispute with China over the resource-rich waters and islands of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).