Ongoing Philippines Military Engagements Affirmed in Washington

September 24, 2018

Last week, as part of its official "second front" in its so-called "war against terrorism," there were more promises by spokesmen of U.S. imperialism to continue its military presence and direct intervention in the Philippines.

Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reported to U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, “Most in our defense establishments agree that the Philippines-U.S. alliance remains robust, based on an enduring history of close engagement and our unwavering commitment to work together on shared values.”

For his part, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo promised more joint military exercises and devoted U.S. troops for more operations to counter "threats posed by terrorism."

According to U.S. State Department Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Heather Nauert, another "shared value" assured was "the readiness of the United States to continue our strong support for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”

Annually, U.S. support for AFP "modernization" includes some $60 million in weapons and other military upgrades. Larger supplements of support sometimes occur, such as in 2016 when $127 million in security assistance was provided. This coming year the AFP is set to receive nearly $110 million.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte originally campaigned on promises to eject U.S. Special Forces from the Philippines but has repeatedly failed to do so.

As done by his predecessors, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, Duterte has yielded to U.S. demands for cooperation with its worldwide war against "terrorism," or "non-traditional security threats."

As a result, the U.S. has steadily concentrated its military role and direct intervention in the Philippines. U.S. and Philippine forces engage in regular "training exercises" and U.S. military advisers take an active part in counter-insurgency operations.

The U.S. military buildup and direct, armed intervention in the Philippines aim both at suppressing the independence movement and popular struggles of the people as well as strengthening the Philippines as a major U.S. military base in Asia.

The Philippines is only one front in the U.S. "war against terrorism," which is pledged to last for decades.

In the Philippines, in Palestine, in Colombia and throughout the world, the slogan of “fighting against terrorism” is being used by the U.S. to interfere in the affairs of sovereign countries and to wage war against the liberation struggles of the peoples who are fighting against colonialism, against fascism, and against capitalism.