features from SOBRIETY for the PHILIPPINES:
(Without Fear or Favor)
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Although waning economically, the US still has the edge in military capabilities, which it may use to bully or declare war against countries resisting the assertion of its economic interests.
By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA – Against warnings from Filipino progressive groups, the Philippine government has been rushing headlong into forging increased defense, military and economic agreements and engagements with the United States government. In so doing, critics warned against the dangers being brought into the Philippines by the “puppetry” of the current Philippine government, led by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III who is seen as further plunging the Philippines into the status of a neo-colony of US, even at a time when the US is already a global superpower in decline.
Days before the 114th anniversary of Philippine independence, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is in the United States for a state visit. It caps months of numerous high-level talks between US and Philippine security officials. In it, the US has apparently sought, and secured, the Philippine “cooperation” in its pivot, shift, refocusing or rebalancing to Asia-Pacific. That shift, according to US Gen Martine Dempsey, chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff, means deploying more US forces as it focuses on the region.
Last Monday in Vietnam US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta detailed their plans to boost US military presence in the Asia-Pacific. It means an increase in ships and more troops, which he said would “rotate in and out.” By 2020, US Defense officials said the US Navy would add about eight ships to the Asia-Pacific region, and overall would have about 60-percent of its fleet assigned here.
The new US defense strategy rolled out this year views America’s future security as dependent on the Asia-Pacific region. Panetta explained this at an earlier press conference last April in the US State Department in Washington after he and US State Secretary Hillary Clinton had a two-plus-two meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. In this meeting they listed the areas for cooperation, or specifically the roles which the Philippines is expected to play for the US, in what the Communist Party of the Philippines calls as US “interventionist overdrive” in the region.
True enough, from January to Aquino’s June state visit in the United States, the US and the Aquino government have had top military and government officials discussing arrangements that, based on reports, have focused on securing for the US military greater access to Philippine land, water and airspace and support facilities for the docking and resupply of US warships, stationing of US troops and likely base for the operations of US spy and attack drones..... MORE
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