Eye on China, U.S. and Philippines Ramp Up Military Alliance

A new agreement will allow the United States to spread more American troops, planes and ships across the Philippines than have been there in decades.

Comments: 56

  1. Thank goodness we found another hole to pour our blood and treasure down.
    I was afraid we would run out of new amputees to be treated miserably after being discharged. Vets with PTSD packed into homeless camps beneath bridges, love it.
    We are running out of smart munitions, because the pentagon wants to buy 45,000 more of them.At $40,000 a bang. Two bombs pay for a college degree. Deliver fees for bombs ramp that number up by 20.
    The smartest bomb you can get is the one you don't purchase, and instead put the money and lives into rebuilding a crumbled nation.

  2. When it comes to getting involved in someone else's dispute half way around the world, America seems to have unlimited resources. We also spend an enormous amount of money to keep people in jail. But when it comes to helping the law-abiding citizens of this country who happen to be poor, the same flag-waving crowd blame the poor.

  3. Are we doing this without getting Trump's approval? We know that the Military-Industrial Complex is always in favor of more war (defense) tools.

  4. “Even with a blank check and substantial political will, the ________ is decades away from having a credible defense force,” he said. “China is playing a winning strategy in the South China Sea.”

    You can plug in any country in the blank and that's the same excuse they'd use to start the process of dragging the US in.
    "Poor us! Help us from the big bad wolf America!"
    (Wolf being Russia/Putin, Assad, ISIS, Boco Harum, Khadafy, Al Queda, Taliban, etc etc

  5. Which of the cited actors are not the "Big Bad Wolf"?

  6. While we are at it, what about the poor Vietnamese? Shouldn't we support them as well?

  7. YY,
    Having worked in Vietnam for many years, I can tell you that Vietnam would welcome American support but I highly doubt that Vietnam would need the American support the way Philippines needs, i.e., allowing American military bases and troops on their soil. Having lived and shared a common border with China for more than 4000 years, the Vietnamese know how to fight and maintain their independence. Vietnam's foreign policy is to be friendly to all nations, non-aligned or be a treaty-allied to any particular country.

  8. China has been extraordinarily aggressive about pursuing dubious claims to islands and waters hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland, but close to the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei, which are responding by defending their territorial claims. Aggressive Chinese actions have also led the Japanese to increase its military capabilities, such as constructing an aircraft carrier-sized naval ship.

    Here, the U.S. can play an indispensable role in the region by facilitating the coordination and cooperation among these nations so as to face China with a united front. The U.S. can - and should - assist through joint training exercises, intelligence sharing, and weapons sales.

    While China is far more massive than any of its neighbors, it will be hard pressed to out maneuver and defeat these nations if they work together with U.S. assistance. One hopes that this deters the Chinese who will see a face-saving diplomatic solution as their best course of action.

  9. I doubt this logic will ever fly. You have to think China is easier to be pushed around than ISIS or can be scared away. I am afraid that although the Chinese leaders want to lend money to to the U.S., the war games there may move the country against us. It is not entirely unimaginable that China may drift to become another N.K. The difference is it has reliable nuke that the U.S. has to think more carefully.

  10. The US and Philippines are allies - long time allies. The Philippines are a democracy and have a sizable and the most supremely love-America immigrant population in the US.

    The Philippines made a mistake kicking out the US military in the 90's - which would have twarted China's now aggressive actions - but that's the past, and an aberration in our long history. We stick by our allies; especially democracies that supported our efforts over decades. it's that simple - that's why we're there.

  11. pinatubo blew up in 1991 inundating clark, subic and cubi point

    th usa happened to be negotiating a new lease th pi govt at that time, and th filipinos wanted to raise th lease price by something like 100 fold

    th pi govt then dropped th lease rate to zero, in th hopes th us would stay and help cleanup, but they decided it wasnt cost effective so they just abandoned th bases

    when th decision was at last made to abandon clark, th remaining airmen had tears in their eyes -- clark was th hardest base to get a posting to, and had th highest re-enlistment rate of any us base

    it was like living in america w all th amenities on one side of th fence, while tahiti was just over th other side

  12. th pi is th most sham democracy i can think of
    it is a pure plutocracy however

    about 100 extended families, perhaps as many as 100, 000 people, own th wealth of a nation w 100,000,000 people

    th rich live in compounds behind 12 foot high cement walls w glass shards and razor wire on top, and armed guards at th gates

    while 1/4 to 1/3 are squatters living in desperate squalor

    it aint no democracy by any measure

  13. MAD will still work. Before Yu judge how far China will go, chat with a couple of immigrants.

  14. We currently base an entire US Army Division in Hawaii- the 25th. It might well make sense to deploy a Brigade of the Division to the Philippines on a rotational basis to keep the footprint light.

  15. Does the author realize the irony that China's claims regarding the South China Sea, however dubious they might be, are the same ones the United States supported in 1945? The only reason that Beijing and Taipei have "overlapping" claims is that the Nationalist Party that ruled China back in 1945 drew up the map.

  16. Nice to see our military prepare for a real, conventional war, rather than fixating on little bands of disaffected Bedouins hiding in a desert.

  17. Security: it's all about the arms sales and the 1%; a system built on blood. Makes everyone so secure. One of the rockets for today's rocket launchers costs more than we spend on a child's education annually in the US. But sorry, there just isn't money available for school lunches, etc. The gods gaze down in pity.

  18. Another excuse to give money to foreign governments to buy US made weapons with.

    We can build the most modern to date military installations around the globe while our own infrastructure continues to erode. For what? So we can confront the second most important country on the planet who is operating on the US policy as stated in the Monroe doctrine.

  19. "We can build the most modern to date military installations around the globe while our own infrastructure continues to erode."

    And why does our infrastructure continue to erode? Because the democrats demand that all infrastructure repairs be done by "prevailing wage" union members who then kickback most of their union dues to the democrats. The GOP would be foolish to approve of this arrangement that gives kickback money to the democrats.

  20. Charles I guess that explains why they gave so much money to private contractors to rebuild Iraq.

  21. Great! The article failed to mention how much the Philippines are paying us for this protection. Perhaps it can be addressed as a correction?

  22. Substitute China for Japan, and it resembles the political situation in the 1930's, but this time add a toxic spawn of overpopulation and an inevitably deteriorating environment. China is positioning itself to secure its existential needs. Sound historically familiar?

  23. "Sound historically familiar?"

    YES, Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere 2.0.

  24. Nothing brings people together like a common enemy. China is helping the US accomplish something it failed to do on its own--to lead a military alliance from Australia to South Korea.

  25. Having served in the Air Force at Clark Air Base, I have memories of the 1990's when the Phillipine government kicked us out and took over the facilities we built. The base now serves as an airport for the nearby city. Now they feel threatened by China and are begging the American people to defend them. Who's paying the tab? Perhaps it is time we allow the Phillipines to manage their own terrtory.

  26. The South China Sea is only the beginning. In another article in today's NYT is an article that states 80% of China's ground water is unfit for drinking or bathing, and there do not seem to be any easy or quick solutions. China may, therefore, be coveting additional territory to help house its people, and as a rapidly advancing military power may be willing to use military force to gain territory or to inhibit other countries to make territory available. The latter already seems to be the case as stated in this article “The Chinese goal is to put enough pressure that someone else blinks first." The problem is what happens when no one blinks. We had better be ready, willing, and able to deal with whatever comes next, and something has to come given the problems China faces at home. Keep in mind that North Korea many just be a stalking horse for enhancing China's nuclear capabilities outside of China's treaty obligations.

    The US needs to contain and substantially moderate Chinese ambitions. Leading from behind is not the answer. The US must take a leading role in maintaining peace and stability and also in fashioning the rules that govern international trade and commerce and how we exist together on our planet. If we do not the Chinese will take over that role, and we would definitely not like the world that the Chinese will try to create. Thus, the Philippines is only the beginning of what must be done.

  27. 3, I have a solution to this big bad China problem, the U.S. billionaires created this problem by transferring the wealth of the U.S. to China starting with the ping pong diplomacy back in the 1980 or so. What needs to be done is to bring these super predator Billionaires to heel!!! More and more people are starting to understand that this group of predators are the core problems throughout the world that infects this planet of ours.

  28. To jpduffy3
    You are excitable, the article said: “Over 80 Percent of Water Is Polluted in Tested China Wells,” not 80 Percent of Water.
    What would you test if looking for problems, the water expected to perhaps be polluted.
    The test are run by the MEP (Ministry of Environmental Protection); surprised they have one? The government has allocated billions of CNY to deal with the problem. Does that comfort you? Do you know the history of Dowd Chemical and the pollution it created?
    Why is China such a threat to the western Times reader? Know thy self – first. Then look outward. China is building alliances with its “threaten neighbors” through trade agreements; most recently opening ties with ancient enemy Japan. The same countries Obama recently hosted in D.C., those countries seem to have the intelligence to look both way, to advantage.

  29. How is this in America's interest? Our presence causes increased hatred of the US among Philipino nationalists and the Muslim minority. We spend our money defending a country that can spend their own money to defend themselves. We create dependency among the Philipino government and unneeded tension with China in their own backyard. This seems to more serve the interests of military officers who want more commands and multinational corporations who want their outsourcing centers defended.

  30. Point : Counter-Point

    October 11, 2011: "The American military and diplomatic 'pivot,' or 'rebalance' toward Asia became a popular buzzword after Hillary Clinton authored America's Pacific Century, in Foreign Policy. Clinton's article emphasizes the importance of the Asia-Pacific, noting that nearly half of the world's population resides there, making its development vital to American economic and strategic interests"

    July 6, 2012: "The Philippines on Wednesday protested China’s move placing virtually the entire West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), including the Philippine territory of Macclesfield Bank and its surrounding waters, under the jurisdiction of a newly created city."

  31. China still remains a major threat to world peace, their insatiable requirements for energy & essential minerals to support their 2 billion people will force them to infringe on all the countries in their sphere of influence which they believe is the entire China Sea.I am pleased to see our resolve in standing up to their aggression, I was afraid we would have a repeat of the Ukraine, Iran & Syria.Hopefully, Obama finally understands that you must have a big stick to thwart oppressive dictatorships.

  32. "Hopefully, Obama finally understands that you must have a big stick to thwart oppressive dictatorships."

    Don't hold your breath, I am still waiting for him to utter the words "radical Islamic terrorist"

  33. To Ultraliberal
    La Di Da. The Chinese use trade as their weapon – what brutes. Seldom mentioned but other countries have also been building pods in the Sea. Time for a conference and a little lawyer arguing about territorial claims, but the US would had no seat at the table; can’t have that can we?

  34. Or, Russian flybys of an American destroyer today? 30' off her bow and low, and interfered with a helicopter launch from a near by ship? We better beef up our resolve and let Putin know the next time the flyby is going to meet with a burst from a anti-aircraft gun.

  35. Dial USA-911

  36. For some interesting judgments and to gain an understanding as to how the world court deals with territorial sea disputes Google: "Falklands - Some Relevant International Law Academia"

  37. China seems to be borrowing a page from Russia's playbook. However, Crimea and the islets in the South China Sea are quite different. But, think again!

    Russia already had several military bases in Crimea, including its massive naval base at Sebastopol. Crimea had been part of the old Soviet Union until 1957, and the West hardly put-up a fight. Was there any doubt that Russia was not going to allow the West to control access to its only warm-water seaport?

    With the mere spits of land, which have been claimed for decades by neighboring, but smaller, countries, China had realized their value--in controlling vital sea lanes, building small air and sea bases, and laying claim to potential energy and mineral deposits nearby.

    China believed that the time was right to move-in, while the U. S. was busy in the Middle East. All the while, the GOP was castigating Obama for initiating his Pacific Pivot. But, it sure looks like President Obama was right all along.


  38. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and now south china sea. The US has been at war, for one reason or another, continuously. It leaves a trail of destruction. Afghanistan is not better off. Iraq is not better off. Syria is not better off. Europe is overcome with migrants due to conflicts created by the US in that region. The US created the taliban, created ISIS, created alqaeda. If the US thinks China is just the next Afghanistan, think again. Let's stop with this war mongering international strategy, and think of how to solve real problems.

  39. Douglas MacArthur was doubly good on his word . . . for we've returned . . . again!

    And justified by what else, Terrorism? Is there nothing that can't be done in the name of that? 9/11 was like a blank check godsend to our military and CIA, which they seem to be spending freely like drunk sailors. What better port than Manila to spend it in, just as MacArthur's troops once did plenty.

    China, with all its money should just go ahead a buy the Philippines, just to give us the boot.

  40. China already has bought the Philippine, Iver. Have you been there recently? The US has invested very little, while Chinese companies and individuals have invested enormously there for decades.

  41. China's preposterous "nine dash" line has done more to increase American influence in Asia than anything the US could ever have done absent that. We should thank whatever drunken Chinese party officials came up with this.

  42. America is heavily militarizing the South China Sea and trying to contain China. China needs to beef up her defences in the area tremendously in response to these American actions and increase the number of nukes and delivery systems at her disposal to ensure that any conflict provoked by America or her (America's) proxies will result in devastating consequences for the entire world.

    Let's see if the South China Sea is worth the bones of a single American marine.

  43. How far do 50 cents go in Kuala Lumpur?

  44. Let us see if the chinese will throw off the western yoke of their communist masters and the foreign westeren hegemonic marxist leninist dictatorship of corrupt fat cats and their toadies.

  45. This military alliance is a logical next step in Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership. TPP fools no one, merely confirms Obama's legacy of bringing the US into confrontation with China--isolate, contain, encircle China as the next big thing in US geopolitical strategy, here the Philippines offering the convenient pretext for the assault.

    Nothing new: this move complements Obam's confrontational stance with Russia, making him perhaps the most war-prone POTUS in the postwar era. Yet Democrats, including the two frontrunners/candidates praise him to the hilt.

    The US knowingly fishes in troubled waters, indeed, desperately seeks to maintain an offensive posture, a pathological continuation of the Cold War. Politics at the moment is inconsequential compared with the steadily evolving potential for Great Power clashes, a nihilism gripping the country and its policy makers. Can the Republicans be any worse, any less truculent, any less trying to prove their muscular credentials?

    Ash Carter is a fitting choice for Defense. Instead of Brennan, the US now has a second team primed for Armageddon.

  46. Useful idiots are always with us, repeating their masters lies.

    Emperor Xi of the Chinese Communist Party is picking fights with neighbors to sell nationalism to the han, since, communism is so dead but the oligarchs live on and must come up with a scam and patrotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.

    The US did more to fight the Japanese in China in WW II than the communists did.

  47. George bu-sshh is.

  48. @Query, it's true that China could not defeat Japan without the US in WWII. But by tying up millions of Japanese troops for 8 years, China prevented Japan from attacking the critical British India, or concentrating their forces on the Soviet Union. Britain or Soviet Union could have collapsed otherwise, changing the outcome of the war. Read Oxford professor Rana Mitter's book "Forgotten Ally: China's World War II".

  49. For the US to back the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute is entirely hypocritical. As the colonial master of the Philippines until 1946, the US never claimed the Spratlys to be part of the Philippines. Instead, it handed the islands to the Republic of China after the surrender of Japan in 1945, even supplying China the ships to patrol them, after which the Chinese renamed those islands (Taiping, Yongxing, etc). The Philippines' claim to the islands was invented later on after China became embroiled in their civil war and had no resources to patrol the remote islands.

  50. Nomad,
    I believe at that time China was not controlled by the communists. Which excuse us for what we did to the Philippine people, under MacArthur, who was brutal.We are still not doing anything for the Philippines, what we are doing by putting bases in the Philippines is telling China that we will not allow them to dominate the China Sea, which is essential to our commerce .

  51. Oh, brother. Meanwhile, I don't hear the Chinese government claiming ownership of the islands by virtue of the US gifting them to Chiang Kai-Shek.

  52. Correct, they claim these islands by right of some fudgy maps from centuries ago.

  53. These agreements never go according to plan. This one a continuation of Pres. Obama’s shift to Asia theme, sweetened no doubt by offers of military ‘aid’ to the Philippines . One more country added to the list of around a hundred with US military bases. Pres. Eisenhower had it right and no established politician is going to ask why? Why not? Maybe we need a Trump for a while, what a grim thought.

  54. Hubristic overreach was a disaster for the US in Iraq. The same could end up applying to China in the South China Sea as well.

  55. An irony to this closer military cooperation between the US and the Philippines, Vietnam, India, and lots of other Asian Pacific countries, is that it is motivated in whole or part by the continuing Chinese effort to turn the South China Sea into a private Chinese lake. We have tacitly allowed the Chinese to do so without much push back. For example, our supposed "Freedom of Navigation" exercises within the 12 mile zones around Chinese artificial islands were actually "Innocent Passage" cruises, under maritime law an acknowledgement of Chinese sovereignty. The Chinese undoubtedly understand this to be a green light to continue building their artificial islands. In the waning months of Obama's term - seeing a permissive window closing fast - the Chinese have noticeably accelerated their island-building. But Obama may yet have the last laugh. The Chinese are focused like a laser on controlling the South China Sea. But they are driving almost all Asian countries into the arms (militarily and diplomatically) of the US. This may be a rare instance where they are playing checkers and we are playing chess.

  56. So it's alright for the US to set up military bases all over the world to demonstrate its military superiority but not for Russia to do the same in Crimea or Syria. And on top of that not to expect the Chinese to do the same in their back yard. How would we react to the Chinese setting up a base in Cuba?

    The power of the big stick still holds. Only the stick on the other side is getting bigger.