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Editorial

‘New’ model?

Once again, those reassuring words: “The United States does not seek permanent bases in the Philippines,” said American Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his visit to Manila last week. What the United States has in mind is a “new model of military to military cooperation, similar to what it has forged with Singapore and Australia.”

It’s a smooth comparison, but quite a disingenuous one. Both countries have more than adequately equipped military forces, so any arrangement with the United States for increased access to local facilities—or, in Australia’s case, joint training with US Marines—is, at best, a token enhancement of their defense capability, and more of a vehicle to project a concerted front against China’s muscle-flexing in the region. More to the point, neither of those countries labors under the complicated history and fraught relations with the United States that the Philippines is heir to, especially with regard to American military bases and their problematic legacy to the country.

On closer look, the “new model of military cooperation” that Hagel is invoking is, in fact, quite old. The “rotational approach” the US and Philippine governments have repeatedly used to describe the new arrangement they have in mind is basically the same setup that currently governs the US military forces present in the country under the 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), under which any number of US soldiers are stationed in the Philippines on a “temporary” basis.

But as one of this paper’s previous editorials had pointed out, “the temporary nature of their visit masks the fact that US forces (of various strengths, in different locations) have been present in the Philippines every single day since 2002. In other words, the ‘visiting’ part of the VFA applies only in a nominal sense—to the individual American soldiers temporarily deployed in the Philippines. US military presence in the country, however, is as good, or as bad, as permanent.”

What looks set to change this time around is not the rotational presence of US troops per se, but the even greater access they would now have to Philippine facilities. According to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, it’s not just the former US naval base in Subic, Zambales, that’s on the table for available use by the US military under the “enhanced” framework agreement being hammered out between the two countries. “Subic is one of the facilities mentioned as for US forces to access. As soon as the framework agreement is complete, we will provide the necessary access to all these facilities; and this is not limited only to Subic but to Philippine military facilities, if necessary.”

It’s true that the Philippines is vulnerable militarily and would need all the help it can get to cobble together a minimum credible defense posture against China’s maritime aggressions. But there is something quite unseemly, too, about Gazmin’s indiscreet, overeager announcement which throws open the doors even wider to American troops and vessels, way before any firm details about the framework agreement has been publicized. At the very least, it undermines the Philippine position, underscoring its weak bargaining status in the negotiations between the two countries—a disposition that the United States, with its own interests to protect and advance, would, again, only be too willing to exploit.

One only has to look at recent Philippine-American history to know that closer military ties with the United States can bring with it as many problems as there are benefits. For decades, the country has had to grapple with a conflicted sense of sovereignty while the largest US bases outside the American mainland loomed over the Philippine political landscape. Their toxic legacy remains—in the unfinished cleanup of the bases’ physical environment, in the number of unresolved crimes by US military personnel against Filipino civilians, in the lopsided terms of the VFA, which now threatens to become even more uneven with the Philippines seemingly too eager to grant American forces easier access to many more Philippine facilities across the archipelago.

Before Gazmin publicly and unilaterally commits the Philippines to any new military arrangement with the United States, the public must first be apprised of the nuts and bolts of the framework agreement, and the Senate has to ratify it after a comprehensive and transparent discussion of its merits. The Philippines does need help, but precisely for that reason, it must gather support for its position with greater care and caution, lest it finds itself outclassed again—out of the frying pan and into the fire.


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Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=60309

  • imongredneck

    If Gazmin gave those concessions to the Yanks, this country must be in dire need of help. Beggars cannot be choosers.

    • 33Sam

      I WOULD TEND TO SURMISE LIKE HITLER BOUGHT OFF THE FRENCH GENERALS, AND THE BUSHES BOUGHT OFF THE IRAQI GENERALS, ALL TO STAND DOWN, THAT THERE MAY BE SIMILAR DEALINGS HAPPENING..

      OLDEST TRICK IN THE BOOK!!!

  • Tagabukid2

    What can the Philippines bargain for? We are asking the help of the USA to have a credible defense posture against China and the fastest solution is what they have been haggling about! Beggars are no choosers!

    It is good that we have the MDT with the USA and the USA is also willing to augment our forces with these VFA and the new set up until the time that we already have a credible external defense force.

    Take away the VFA and the MDT with the USA and what will we have for immediate defense against external agression? Nothing! We are worst off than what we are during the advent of WWII. We got defeated by the Japs, but it took them for a while, and mind you – a long while! But if China will invade us now without the US defense umbrella, we will be defeated within days!

    • 33Sam

      NAIVE!!! WEAK 2-D THINKING!!!

      THE PHILIPPINES IS PLANNED TO BE A VENUE FOR WORLD WAR THREE. CHINA WILL BE SET UP BY THE SUPER RICH GLOBALISTS, THE BILDERBERGS, TO GO UP AGAINST THE U.S. MILITARY TO PRECISELY DEFEAT THE U.S. MILITARY IN ORDER FOR THE GLOBALISTS TO MOVE TO THE NEXT PHASE OF NEW WORLD ORDER AGENDA 21.

      YOU ARE THINKING IN AN ARCHAIC LEFT-RIGHT PARADIGM MATRIX.

      YOU NEED TO STEP UP TO 3-D THINKING.

      THE GLOBALISTS CONTROL THE U.S. MILITARY AND THE MILITARIES OF THE 161 COUNTRIES THAT HAVE SIGNED ONTO AGENDA 21.

      THEY ARE PLAYING BOTH SIDES OF THE CHESSBOARD!! FUNDING BOTH THE U.S. MILITARY AND CHINA’S TO GO HEAD TO HEAD LIKE ROOSTERS AT A COCKPIT, BOTH ROOSTERS OWNED BY THE SAME PERSON!!!

      COLLATERAL DAMAGE IS WHAT THE PHILIPPINES WILL GET FOR THINKING IT CAN STAND UNDER ANY SUCH “UMBRELLA!!!”

      PART OF AGENDA 21′S PLAN IS 90% HUMAN POPULATION REDUCTION WORLD WIDE.

      CONNECT THE DOTS.

      THE U.S MILITARY SOLDIERS ARE COMPARTMENTALIZED, BRAINWASHED INTO SWALLOWING LIES, ARE TAUGHT THAT GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS A TRAITOR, BY ITS OWN GOVERNMENT!

      MANY AMERICAN SOLDIERS ARE WAKING UP.

      ARE FILIPINOS???

      • Tagabukid2

        Have you been to the USA at all? And live there? Do you really know the American ideals? Their passion? What they cherish the most?

        Have you served in the US military? Do you really know why American serve in their military?

        Do you really know what ordinary American aspirations are?

        Or are you part of the brainwashing machine of the enemies of the USA?

        Who are you really?

        3D thinker my assss!

      • 33Sam

        FALLACY OF ARGUMENT!

        PETITIO PRINCIPII…

        ARE YOU AWARE OF THAT??

        WHAT DO YOU THINK???

        YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE DEALING WITH NOR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING!!!

        WHAT A MORON, EVEN THE U.S. MILITARY RANK AND FILE ARE WAKING UP TO THIS.

        LEFT-RIGHT PARADIGM???

        YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’VE POSTED!!!

        THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NATIONALISM OR ANTI-AMERICAN ANYTHING!!!

        YOUR READING COMPREHENSION IS WEAK!!!

      • Tagabukid2

        You jumped into my post and now ridicule me?! Go have your own post and do not spread the mantra of your confusion!

        Do you know who you are dealing with too? I am scared!!! Booo!!!

        Ok. You are the genius of the blogsport. Now scramm!! I do not need you and you do not need me. So get lost!

        Once again, 3d thinker my assss! Sell it to someone moronic! Har har har…!

      • 33Sam

        I WAS ANSWERING YOUR POST.

        ISN’T THERE A REPLY BUTTON UNDER YOUR POST??

        TYPICAL AD HOMINEM LOW INFORMATION MONKEY MAKING THINGS WORSE FOR ITSELF, CUTTING ITS ALREADY FLAT NOSE OFF TO SPITE ITS FACE …

        NOTHING YOU’VE JUST SAID HAS ANY BEARING ON ANYTHING AND IS ALL FALLACY OF ARGUMENT.

        RATHER THAN FIGURE THAT OUT, YOU JUMP AROUND CHASING YOUR TAIL AND MAKE YOURSELF LOOK ALL THE MORE STUPID.

        NEXT HE’LL BE GRABBING AT HIS SPHINCTER AND SQUEEZING OUT WHAT’S REALLY IN HIS SKULL AND THROWING IT AROUND FOR LACK OF ANYTHING PRESSING NOR ARTICULATE TO STATE.

        LOOK AT THIS PHOTO 1-D THINKER:
        http://static.prisonplanetDOTcom/p/images/september2013/010913image.jpg

      • Tagabukid2

        Shhhh!

        I am not buying what you are selling! X10000!

        What else can you not understand?

        Ok? Patatawarin po if you are asking for an ear to listen to your confusion!!!

      • 33Sam

        DON’T FLATTER YOURSELF SPHINCTER MONKEY I’M NOT ANSWERING YOU, I’M ANSWERING YOUR STUPID POSTS!!!

        MORE AMERICAN SOLDIER PHOTOS FOR YOUR ONE DIMENSIONAL BRAIN!!!

        http://static.infowarsDOTcom/bindnfocom/2013/09/military.jpg

      • Tagabukid2

        Har har har….!

      • 33Sam
      • Mamang Pulis

        ? bright boy, i can only see one.

      • crazy_horse_101010

        GO TO GOOGLE AND TYPE IN FAKE CONSPIRACIES THEN TYPE IN CONSPIRACY FRAUDS I FOUND YOUR PICTURE THERE WITH TIN FOIL COVERING YOUR HEAD EAT THAT ONE FANATIC

      • 33Sam

        GOOGLE IS A CIA NSA SPY TOOL THAT DELETES TRUTHER SITES AND HERDS YOUT TO FALSE DEBUNKER SITES WHILE TRACKING EVERYWHERE YOU GO ONLINE.

        AMERICAN SOLDIERS ARE WAKING UP AND WILL NOT DEPLOY TO SYRIA:

        http://static.infowarsDOTcom/bindnfocom/2013/09/military.jpg

      • crazy_horse_101010

        GO TO GOOGLE AND TYPE IN FAKE CONSPIRACY THEORIES THEN TYPE IN CONSPIRACY FRAUDS LIKE 33SAM

      • 33Sam
      • crazy_horse_101010

        GO TO GOOGLE AND TYPE IN FAKE CONSPIRACY THEORIES THEN TYPE IN CONSPIRACY FRAUDS DONT GO TO HIS GARBAGE HE IS A LUNATIC

      • 33Sam

        GOOGLE IS A CIA NSA SPY TOOL FAVORED BY SATANIST LOVER CRETIN_CORPSE:

        http://static.infowarsDOTcom/bindnfocom/2013/09/military.jpg

      • RyanF1

        >”THE U.S MILITARY SOLDIERS ARE…TAUGHT THAT GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS A TRAITOR, BY ITS OWN GOVERNMENT!”

        LOL I must have been On Leave in Manila with my family then on the day they supposedly taught that lie about George Washington to my unit. Six Years as an American Soldier, or Airman actually, and not once did I hear anything about G.W.

        What lousy timing, I must have been gone every single time for it. But wait a minute. Was that Mandatory Training? Because if it was, I wouldn’t have been able to Go On Leave for that time.

        If all that’s too subtle for you, I’m exposing your lie for what it is. If you’re lying about what U.S. Soldiers go through, what else are you capable of lying about? If you cannot be trusted with such a minor detail, then what sort of credibility do you expect to have with this Agenda 21 assertions of yours?

      • crazy_horse_101010

        look up the real agenda 21 on the internet and their meetings rio de janerio no ne of his crap was ever discussed. he told once that the cia planted chairman mao which was funny when mao was around in the 1930s and the cia didnt exist until after 1945. agenda 21 was signed by over 160 countries and it was about protecting resources and helping the poor people in the world. these fanatics even said agenda 21 was building bike paths so storm troopers on bikes could round up people and move them into the cities

      • Eustaquio Joven

        You don’t have to use ALL CAPS, do you? It isn’t eye-friendly at all. Besides, as plain rubbish, it takes too much space.

  • inquirercet

    the choice is simple. either we let china violate our sovereignty or we let the US do the same. for me, i would rather let a friend inside my house rather than a thief.

    • 33Sam

      BUT WHAT IF THE THIEF DECIDED TO FOLLOW YOUR FRIEND INTO YOUR HOUSE?

      • inquirercet

        then its two against one.

      • 33Sam

        SEEMS LIKE IT BUT CHINA IS HUGE WITH THE SAME WEAPONS THE U.S. HAS. THIS IS ABOUT GLOBALISM NOT NATIONALITY NOR BORDERS.

      • inquirercet

        what? you are a child.

      • 33Sam

        NO BUT YOU MUST BE!!

        WHY DO YOU ASK??

      • crazy_horse_101010

        go to google and type in fake conspiracy theories. then tpye in conspiracy frauds. and you are a child HAWHAWHAW

      • 33Sam

        GOOGLE IS A CIA NSA SATANIC SPY TOOL ENHANCED BY SATANIST MICHAEL AQUINO A U.S. GENERAL MINDCONTROL EXPERT, USING MKULTRA MIND CONTROL, THAT DELETES TRUTH SITES AND HERDS YOU TO FAKE DEBUNKER SITES.

        HERE ARE MORE AMERICAN SOLDIERS REFUSING TO DEPLOY:

        http://static.infowarsDOTcom/bindnfocom/2013/09/military.jpg,

      • crazy_horse_101010

        GO TO GOOGLE AND TYPE IN FAKE CONSPIRACY THEORIES. THEN TYPE IN CONSPIRACY FRAUDS JUST LIKE 33SAM

      • Mamang Pulis

        watched too much jesse ventura….

      • crazy_horse_101010

        wait until he finds out the show was a fake.

    • rom

      but if your friend inside your house is a thief above being a helper. Later on you will realize that your friend rubbed a lot from your very own house.

      US is already our friend, they stay in our soil for a very long time. They are here in our territory the whole year since the VFA agreement. Their maritime warships/machines can dock anytime in our ports. US know very well what the Chinese is doing in the West Philippine Sea. US know very well our territorial grievances with China. But did we ever hear anything from US any hard statement against China?

      We fell the need of a strong country like US to be with us, but the records of US is far worst that the records of our “enemy” now which is China.

      What about if all ASEAN countries with Japan form an Alliance of any sort against the posturing of China? What about scraping the “one China policy” and acknowledge Taiwan??? The idea is to have “all against one”. We know that this endeavor is not easy to be initiated by weak state like the Philippines.

      We dont know yet the pulse of every ASEAN state, and we dont know the terms of conditions of ASEAN formation, but he Philippines must endeavor to rally with ASEAN countries and other Asian countries especially Japan against China. We have very valid reason to do so.

      • inquirercet

        you are correct. the us is here for there own interest, our job is to make sure we get our piece of the pie while they get theirs. recognizing taiwan as a state will be a diplomatic nightmare. currently, only our diplomatic and military relationship with china is strained. if we do that we risk jeopardizing our economic relationship as well and that won’t be good. let’s keep in mind all this show of force and allies is just posturing, nobody really wants a full blown war, not even china. all we need to do is show that we have allies that won’t be bullied and the battle is half won.

  • 33Sam

    THE U.S.MILITARY IS WAKING UP TO THE SCAM ITS GOVERNMENT UNDER GLOBALIST CONTROL HAS BEEN PLAYING ON ITS SOLDIERS:

    http://static.prisonplanetDOTcom/p/images/september2013/010913image.jpg

    • Mamang Pulis

      nice try sport….anybody can post images and claim such.

    • crazy_horse_101010

      go to google and type in fake conspiracy theories then type in conspiracy frauds

  • mangtom

    crazy_horse_101010: keep on giving this demented 33Sam hell. You have my support. Sana mag-check in na agad sa Mandaluyong para ma-diagnose ang problema niya bago lumala at aabut na to the point of no return na hindi na siya magagamut.

    • crazy_horse_101010

      im hoping he will pop a blood vessel then we wont have to listen to his ranting anymore.

  • opinon only

    old model, new model, it’s all the same. just get our whores ready for the american troops, its our best currency…pu**y

  • Eustaquio Joven

    I don’t know why we have to complicate such a simple act of defending our territory. All we need to do is do it. So what if we are undermanned or unarmed? So what if some of us lose our lives in the process? Nothing is free. Do you think that, with or without a defense pact, the US and the world will just stand by and see a brave people being decimated by a much superior force? No, it’s not about symphaty. It’s about self-interests. It’s about free pasage in the open seas which they stand to lose should they allow China’s claim to the 9 dots or whatever. Let’s not even think of augmenting the force that we already have. We may have a more urgent need of the funds for it in the South where a major conflict is abrewing.



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