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Philippines
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The US got more from what it wanted (2)

“This now explains why only the Philippines adopted the reverse view of increasing the number of US military bases in the country and even increasing the arms acquisition from the US.”

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In our conduct of diplomatic relations, the US is conducting a calibrated policy to suit its interest.

The late president Ferdinand E. Marcos sought to refocus our friendship with our long-lost friend in Asia.

Today, many in the opposition wonder how events turned out differently from what many expected.

President Noynoy Aquino’s appointed secretary of foreign affairs lodged the complaint with the permanent arbitration court against China in the South China Sea, which was decided in our favor.

Sadly, our relations badly deteriorated.

Now that Marcos is in power, the relaxed pace in our relations with China has somewhat become tense, with most of us thinking we are working for the US interest in the region.

Despite the brisk attempt by the Duterte administration to improve ties with China, the Philippines is fully aware the country mainly wants to maximize the benefits it could get.

We always parrot the threat of China as if to justify our defense posturing.

The initial position by the President was to play the dual role which is to make the Philippines a “friend to all and an enemy to none.”

Instead, he appointed as our ambassador to the US a relative who began to expose our position as an all-American lackey and antagonistic to China.

The Philippines will not stop from allowing itself to be used as stooge in preparation for the proxy war with China without considering the price the country will have to pay for waging a possible war with China.

Although the ambivalence in the policy of the administration began with President Duterte, the latter nonetheless sought to forego his demand for the removal of the US bases.

President Duterte feared that a drastic move on his part could affect his chances of running again should he decide to go for it.

Even China was surprised because it could affect the original policy laid down by then President Marcos.

But when young Marcos came to power, he not only ended the speculation for the removal of the US bases but surprisingly increased their number to 11, including the revival of the US naval base in Subic.

BBM removed all the limitations on how the US bases should operate, the number to be allowed, the entry of nuclear weapons, our jurisdiction over criminal cases committed by their servicemen in this country, etc.

It turned out that our ambassador to the US is more pro-American that he could singlehandedly decide things for us as mandated by the Constitution.

The eagerness of the US to have their bases returned in the Philippines was somewhat revived by their desire to contain China’s economic progress, not to mention the political goal of retaking Taiwan.

Once defeated, all its allies in Asia, from Japan to South Korea will crumble.

Even India will lose the will to sustain the US-suggested Indo-Pacific bloc to contain China from crossing the Malacca Strait to give it a free hand to operate in the Indian Ocean.

China and Russia can combine their forces to prevent the US Pacific Fleet with Australia and New Zealand.

It is on this consideration why the Philippines, all of a sudden, became pivotal to US defense in Asia.

If US alliance with this country is lost, all its military infrastructures they built in the region will lose their foundation.

In fact, the US bases in the Philippines are merely being used as cover to justify its presence in the SCS, specifically along the Straits of Taiwan for which the forces from China and Taiwan are expected to clash anytime.

It is on this score why most political analysts say the US got more than what it could bargain for.

The US insists that China remains the aggressor in the South China Sea.

Many political analysts are puzzled and wonder about this assertion.

How can it accuse China of aggression when that country remains geographically indelibly a part of that region while the US is an obvious intruder in the South China Sea?

It would have no valid reason of its presence in area except for its claim of an alliance to justify its exercise of hegemony in the area

Yes, war is possible between China and the US, but it is a limited proxy war many predict will be initiated by the US to meet the demand of the US military industrial complex and to keep the war-economy of the US and Taiwan going.

It is only the Philippines and those countries that stand as remnants of the Cold War like South Korea, Japan that have been hooked to purchasing arms from the US with the US asserting their vulnerability to attack from China.

This now explains why only the Philippines adopted the reverse view of increasing the number of US military bases in the country and even increasing the arms acquisition from the US.

It is only the Philippines that has no clear cut objective of what it plans to do in the event of war with China.

It is not in a position to stem the tide of possible invasion by China in Taiwan, or even ward off the Chinese fleet in the South China Sea to assert our claim in the area.

In fact, the US has induced the country to purchase more of these costly naval flotilla everybody knows could not alter the course of events in case of a full-blown war with China.

Other countries are silent about this possibility because each is given a share of the pie for the acquisition of arms to supply gullible states like the Philippines which in all probability will just be acting like a canon fodder.

BBM’s subscription to this warmongering theory has only validated the demand as for the country to unnecessarily increase our defense budget but not to stop the possible threat of invasion from China.

It is only the US that keeps on repeating the threat of a Chinese invasion.

Otherwise, its presence in the area and sale of weapons will lose their meaning and viability.

The threat has to be calibrated and made to heighten the tension like creating an issue if necessary to keep the conflict in the South China Sea alive in the media.

To make plausible the expansion of US alliance with other countries in the region it sought to revise and expand the alliance by geopolitically renaming the area as Indo-Pacific to include countries not within geographical coverage of the area, including India, to give the alliance wider coverage into the Indian Ocean, and give Japan and South Korea responsibility of checking the Russia fleet that will be coming from the Sea of Japan while the US and Australia will be racing to check China’s fleet in the Pacific. 

(rpkapunan@gmail.com)

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