Loss of an Ally

An ally of decades’s standing:

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced Thursday that he was “separating” from the United States and embracing China as the new best friend of the Philippines.

The 71-year-old president, famous for blunt, often profane rhetoric, announced his country’s realignment in a state visit to Beijing, where he was hailed as China’s new “brother.’’

An ally in possession of superb, if somewhat neglected, naval and air bases. Imagine those being put back into shape and turned against us. What does the loss and counter-possession of Subic and Clark mean for Taiwan, Guam, Okinawa and even Japan?

Duterte is a loon, but that doesn’t mean he’s not serious. I hear people in the place where I work say, “Oh, I think he a coup or two in his future,” but what if that’s not true? If this is a done deal, then the Philippines-China deal is an enormity.

Another loss in the ongoing destruction– increasingly seen as the ongoing deliberate act that it is– of American primacy and strategic strength. A military understrength and underfunded, allies deserting, and adversaries laughing. Fundamental transformation, indeed.

I want my country back.

About vmijpp

VMIJPP hails from the star city of the south, Roanoke, Virginia. A 1989 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he is a retired artillery officer in the United States Marine Corps, with time in both the active and reserve sides. He served in Iraq in 2004, and in Afghanistan in 2009-2010. He joined the magnificent OPFOR.com as a guest blogger from the now defunct but never uninteresting Rule 308, where he denounced gun control and other aspects of tyranny, and proclaimed the greatness of the United States. When the sun set on OPFOR.com, he migrated here with Keydet1976 and the others.
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3 Responses to Loss of an Ally

  1. burkemblog says:

    I graduated from HS at Subic Bay in the Philippines in 1969–my dad commanded the naval communications station there for three years. I find Duterte’s move logical from his perspective, and I bet it is irreversible. We likely could have bought them for a few hundred million dollars in aid–they get only 100 million from us–but the Philippines is such a corrupt country that most of it would have disappeared. I wonder if the Chinese will have any better luck with them as allies. Of course, they just want to co-opt them to fend off the recent court case against them and to get the Philippine military off their backs. I think access to Subic and maybe Clark (both of which are now commercial shipping hubs) would have been a big plus for us, and I bet we will regret taking the Filipinos for granted. On the coup business–maybe–the Philippines have traditionally been controlled by the thirteen big families in Manila, and he’s not one of them. Maybe they’ll take matters into their own hands, but Duterte is sort of like Trump–he has a large and committed following that thinks he’s sticking it in the eye of the traditional power brokers. So a coup may thrust the country into civil war–which would give the rich Manilenos pause. They would have more to lose than to gain, and he could be gone in less than four years.

    At the same time, defending the Philippines from the US runs into exactly the same problem we had in 1941/42–distance. We couldn’t relieve Bataan because it is too far away. Maybe if we built up our bases in Guam, we could manage some kind of support arrangement, but I think that is unlikely. if I were a betting man, I would say we’re going to switch our basing efforts to another great natural harbor with an old US base–Cam Ranh Bay. I bet the Vietnamese will be happy to make us a deal, and we may be better off, geographically, than we would have been in the more restive Philippines. The Vietnamese truly hate the Chinese. This may work to our advantage more than we might think now.

    Like

  2. slater says:

    Duterte be like: wait , please wait, I no mean that-http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/21/asia/duterte-china-philippines-us/

    Like

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