The Pentagon’s Return to the Philippines

Remember a few months back when news emerged that the United States wants to have increased access to Philippine ports and airfrields to use as potetnial dispersal bases in any conflict in the Western Pacific? At the time, it seemed that Defense Department officials merely wanted occasional — if frequent — access to these installations, not permanent bases. Well, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta just dropped a hint that the Pentagon may well be planning on basing U.S. troops in the Philippines for the first time since America shuttered its massive bases in the ex-U.S. colony 20 years ago.

Check out these lasts paragraphs of a Defense News article on Panetta’s current trip to Asia where he’s trying to “define the new defense strategy for the region, particularly the emphasis on the rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region.”

DoD also wants to strengthen its presence in the region, particularly though rotational deployments, which would be similar to the arrangement the Pentagon has with Australia to deploy Marines there.

The Pentagon “working on” an arrangement like this in the Philippines and “elsewhere,” Panetta said without naming additional countries.

That’s right, the U.S. is considering some sort of basing arrangement in the Philippenes, a country that wants Amercia’s help in fending off the threat of Chinese domination of the Philippines’ resource-rich corner of the South China Sea (Google the Spratly Islands). All the term “rotational” means is that different units will swap in and out of facilities in the Philippines and elsewhere; basically, there’s going to be a long term American military presence in these places. This could simply be a rotation of U.S. Navy P-3 Orion surveillance planes to the islands — something that Pentagon planners have already referred to — or it could be something bigger, adding to the 330,000 American troops that are already based in the Pacific. Time will tell.

Click here to read more about the Pentagon’s plans for the Pacific and the Philippines.

Ps. American SOF troops have been quetly operating in the southern Philippenes for a decade, helping the local military combat an Islamic insurgency, but you already knew that.

 

35 Comments on "The Pentagon’s Return to the Philippines"

  1. Cool. Who's going to pay for it?

  2. Why…? They vote us out…and now we'll give them FREE SHIP and FREE F16 ????
    My tax money for this ??

  3. British guarantees to Poland led to a world war. Not repeat the same mistakes. China has its sphere of influence.

  4. I was wondering when this would come out, with the little stand off between CH and PH it was only a matter of time before they welcomed in the USA.

  5. Too bad that deal for F-16s feel threw. Hope we get a good base there again. As well as fee hot women there.. LOL.

  6. I'm curious to see what form it takes. Many of our old American bases were already repurposed into airports, seaports and the like.

    I guess we'll have to build new facilities, pay the bill and then turn the keys over when we're done with them.

  7. I dont understand why we buildup troops incase of chinese aggression and also are aware of a possible war with china in how many years it could happen (just saying could) yet we Still are dumb enough to be supplied by faulty parts and all of that jumbo.

  8. I am fine with this if we close 10 other bases elsewhere to pay for it. We need to go back to zero, pick the bases that have the 10 or 20 bases that have the most strategic importance and close the rest. Imagine what 10,000 troops being brought home and those soldiers and their families being based in a city would do for that cities economy.

  9. The PI was a protectorate, not a "colony". If they allow the US some basing rights what will they really want in return? SOF units already teach the PI Army how to fight their home grown guerillas. Been doing that since the the early 1900s. They're really good at staging attempted coups, so we might as well fight the Abu Saif and others for them too, for basing rights.

  10. Waiste of money, what we have now works just fine.

  11. stephen russell | June 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Reply

    One Filipino buddy told me his country hated Americans & due to American abuse forced then Subic Bay Naval base closed, that was in 2003 I think.

  12. I would appreciate it if you would break down that 330,000 figure of American Troops in the Pacific. I did my own research and am perplexed as to where or how you came to that number?
    Thanks..

  13. The Filipino's wanted us out so the US turned over the bases and left the country and now when there is a problem they want us back? Screw Them.

    Sell them weapons but I would not put US troops in harms way for them.

  14. I don’t mind US having a bases here again as long as they won’t do what they did bad in the past. Thats the main reason why the PI wanted to pull out their bases then here.

  15. You know nothing at all do you? What a bunch of unprofessional cowboys.

  16. China will mostly likely wait till the USA is at its weakest before they hit them. They let America exhaust itself and spread itself thin; on top of that some of our chips used in our important military hardware are manufactured over there. Wouldn't that be sobering to see American forces try to duke it out with China only to have China pull the plug on our equipment and we're sitting in front of them fumbling around? One more reason to manufacture our stuff here again.

  17. My wife is from the Philippines, and for the most part, they don't hate Americans. They hated the influence that a bunch of young, immature G.I.'s had on their local society around the bases though. That's where you find all of the prostitution, drugs, etc. Most Filipinos think that Americans are rich, and, comparatively speaking, we are. A lot of them want to come to America, and, sadly, are willing to go to great lengths to get here. Their government is one of the most corrupt in the world, and their standard of living is terrible. Some people live in huts so dilapidated that we wouldn't use it as a chicken coop here.

  18. US military presence in Asia Pacific is also an Advantage for
    US itself

  19. After Taiwan, P.I. is next in Chinese crosshairs. I think the US can't afford to lose P.I. given its strategic location

  20. given China's attitude towards South China sea. Just walk up and state " This is mine is not how a state should be acting specially for a state that is hungry for some respect and prestige. You say it is not in the US interest to stand up to bullies like that? Then who would. ? . The only states in the region that has entered into a mutual defense pact with China is "zero". Despite the propensity of the US to foment regime Change it has remain a very "convenient " friend when times are bad. Look at Japan , south Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, vietnam and even far off Australia . Even Singapore whose population is 80 percent ethnic Chines is wary of China. The US navy because of its dominating power has guaranteed the freedom of navigation throughout the world so far. For the US Navy to walk off the the potential fight is conduct unbecoming a greatest Navy the world has seen.

  21. Andy Anderson EN/FN | June 4, 2012 at 1:34 am | Reply

    Islamic insurgency… are they still calling themselves The NPA? (New Peoples Army)

    Andy
    Subic Bay Harbor Security (PBR 80) 1976-1979

  22. I just love it; we (US) need to have our bases back in the "PI". It was good timing when we pulled out in the late 80's; that showed them. We are needed their now and it'll help us in the long run. I Love This Move!

  23. As previous comments have prudently pointed out, the Chinese evidently now consider the South China Sea… the entire South China Sea, there's for the taking; to do what ever they want… fish, extract oil and literally everything else. It matters not that some of the South China Sea, over which they are now threatening the Philippine and Viet Nam navies, are almost a 1,000 miles from any China coastline. No country nearby China should feel comfortable, given China's growing military capability and newly emerging imperialism. This suddenly becomes a "nice time" to cement relationships with Uncle Sam's military presence. China's neighbors aren't stupid!

  24. I have talked to many filipinos since they ran the USA out of the philipines and every one of them are confirming that this was a drastic mistake that the economy there was down to near nothing. I have 2 friends that one already lives there and he said he lived like a king on an e-8 retirement, the other is building a home that would cost over a million there for $20.000, this home has everything available there, it has 5 bedrooms, 4 baths and a half, a huge fenced garden in back and maid service for $15 a week, and he said that he paid the maid more than what others made.

  25. They couldn't wait to get rid of us and take over the bases that the US spent billions developing, especially one of the few ports in the Far East capable of handling carriers and deep water hulls.

    —-

    Now, as they are feeling the heat from an increasingly provocative and growing China, they want us back. This time, we need to make them pay for these facilities and our presence rather than the US Taxpayer.

  26. Clarence Pearson | June 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply

    I was assigned to the Phillipines at Clark AB in the 60's and loved it .A beautiful country and we had good relations with the local Filipinos.It is in our intrest to have bases there again.Mabuhay!

  27. America earned Asian respects when they left the Philippines.Back then ,most of Asian countries think that the US forces in the PI was an occupational force that cannot be booted out by a sovereign country and by doing so(leaving) it showed its true character traits that is admired and respected highly by most Asian countries even now.Not like China, aggressive actions on claiming SCS ownership with massive navy and using it as a tools to resolves disputes….Kudos to Obama, eventhough everything else are failing, but this one is good for AMERICA……

  28. BTW, that's my former ship, USS ESSEX LHD-2 when she was actually functioning properly (I guess).

  29. Some of you all need to stop thinking emotionally and use the brain God gave you. Do what's best for national security. In the end the only thing that matters is protecting our interests. I for one can't imagine Chinese bases in the Philippines. That's way to close to home.

  30. wow.realistic point of view.. have you had experiences partying or going out Subic and Clark with those bars outside the streets? you seem like your hands full of those night life huh? well that's a part of the cycle. as being deployed you need some air outside the base right? even if it's just temporary. for sure those girls not just wanted to throw them selves on those servicemen but also because they're earning a living.
    I hope past policies should not be repeated, for sure, tougher policies shall be imposed besides, the PI Gov does not want 50,000 amer-asian kids add up on thier surging population.. illegitimate kids left by the american servicemen during the hay days of Clark and Subic.

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