Philippines without America. How President Duterte is trying to do away with US influence.
The Philippines is not just a country where American military bases are located. This is a historic ally of the United States. Although ordinary Filipinos and many of the country's politicians are very negatively disposed towards this cooperation, the Philippines served the United States faithfully for almost the entire twentieth century. More precisely, the United States forced the Philippines to provide territory for military bases and to carry out all sorts of allied activities, including, for example, sending its military to the wars that the United States waged in Korea and Vietnam.
30 August 1951 was signed by the Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines, which laid the foundations for the entire post-war security system in the country. Considering that after the end of the Second World War, the rise of the communist movement took place in Southeast, East and South Asia, the United States was very much afraid of losing influence in the region. Therefore, a lot of attention was paid to the formation of a counterweight to the Soviet, and then Chinese, influence in the Asia-Pacific region. First of all, the United States enlisted the support of countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, South Vietnam, and South Korea. That is, the Philippines had to play one of the most important roles in the American "security system."
In order to ensure control over the Philippines and protect the islands (the latter, incidentally, it was more likely related to protection from “internal opponents” - communist guerrillas), military bases of the American armed forces were deployed in the country with the permission of the then pro-American leadership. By the way, the Agreement on military bases was signed four more years before the Mutual Defense Treaty. In accordance with this agreement, the US armed forces were able to use 23 bases in the Philippines for military purposes with a total area of 4 thousand square meters. kilometers In fact, 1,3% of the country turned out to be transferred to US military bases. Four more military bases, including an airfield, could be used at any time by the United States at the request of the American leadership. The agreement provided for the use of the mentioned bases until 2046 of the year - that is, it was concluded for a whole century ahead. Thus began the seventy-year history of the modern US military presence in the Philippines (in fact, this presence is much longer, since even after the Philippine independence war at the end of the 19th century, the islands were occupied by the United States).
For a long time, the Philippine leaders did not raise unnecessary questions about the presence of US military bases. Perhaps they simply did not dare to lose their support from the United States, as they feared the communist revolution. The communist guerrilla movement, which originated during the Second World War and went back to anti-Japanese resistance, enjoyed great influence in the Philippines and met sincere sympathy from the peasant masses. This was due to the specifics of the socio-economic situation of the Filipino workers — the islands were dominated by American capital and local latifundists. Naturally, a significant part of the population, primarily the lower classes, was very negative about this state of affairs. No less negative attitude on their part was caused by the power, in words demonstrating the desire for political independence of the state, but in practice remained in the role of the American satellite. So there was more than enough reason to keep the US military bases with the Philippine leadership. In addition, they brought quite good financial assets, including work to the local population. True, on the other hand, not everything is measured in money. The presence of a large number of free young men who are far from families and at home has contributed to the flourishing of the trade in alcohol, drugs and prostitution in the Philippines. On the other hand, there were not uncommon crimes committed by foreign soldiers against Filipinos, including, for example, rape of girls and women.
The most important US military bases used in conjunction with the armed forces of the Philippines are the military bases Clark and Subic Ben, which are located aviation and the naval base of the US armed forces, as well as the port of Appari, the troposphere communications center Kabuyo and two training ranges. We will briefly talk about each of these bases. So, the US Air Force base Clark is located on the island of Luzon - 82 kilometers northwest of Manila. It is one of the oldest air bases in the Philippines. It was built before the Second World War, after the war it was restored, and they began to exploit as much as possible during the war in Vietnam. Then, units of the 13th Air Force of the US Air Force and auxiliary units with a total of 20 thousand people were stationed here. During the Vietnam War, the headquarters of the 13th Air Army was planning operations against the Vietnamese and Lao revolutionary forces and was responsible for the logistical and military construction support of the US Air Force in the Philippines. In fact, it was Clark Air Base that was the main base for the rear and logistical support of American troops in the Asia-Pacific region. The base was also used as an alternate aerodrome for American aircraft flying from Andersen Air Base on Guam Island and attacking the patriotic forces of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
The naval base of the United States Navy Subic Bay was also built on the island of Luzon - in the Subic Bay, which is in 80 km. west of the Philippine capital of Manila. Favorable location and size of the base allowed the US naval command to use it to accommodate a large number of ships. Like Clark Air Base, Subic Bay naval base was built before the independence of the Philippines. During the American aggression in Vietnam, the development of the infrastructure of this naval base received the most attention. This was due to the active use of the US Navy base. So, only in 1958, the US military ships once entered the 2607 base. These figures give a comprehensive picture of the importance of the Subic Bay base during the Vietnam War. Subic Bay Base is equipped with 20 berths for ships of all classes. At the same time, part of the berths are also equipped with the necessary equipment to supply the US Navy with fuel and ammunition. It is also equipped with a berthless tanker unloading point, from which an oil pipeline leading to the Clark air base is laid. In addition, a maintenance and technical enterprise with five docks operates on the Subic Bay base, which allows for the prompt repair of warships of various levels.
In addition to aviation and naval bases, traditionally a very important role for organizing the provision of the American army, aviation and fleet played communication centers located in the Philippines. In fact, it is the Philippines that are the center of communications services for the US Armed Forces in the Asia-Pacific region. A trans-Pacific submarine cable from the USA stretches to the coast of Luzon Island.
Thus, the military bases in the Philippines play a very large role in the combat support of the American armed forces in Southeast Asia. However, from the beginning of the 1990's. The Philippine leadership, under pressure from the growing anti-American sentiment in the country, began to insist on the withdrawal of the US military from the country’s territory. In 1991, the Senate rejected the new treaty, which led to the gradual withdrawal of bases in the Philippines. This was also facilitated by hopes that the USA would see serious opponents disappear after the collapse of the USSR and the collapse of the socialist bloc.
However, strengthening the military and political power of China and Russia, combined with the growth of international terrorism, which is closely linked to religious-fundamentalist organizations operating, including in Southeast Asia, negotiations between the US and Philippine leadership began again bases. 11 November 2011 of the year on board the US destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), which arrived in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, a solemn ceremony was held in honor of the sixtieth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on mutual defense. From this time on, the Americans were once again convinced that the Philippines would remain their reliable ally in Southeast Asia. Perhaps it would have been so if the charismatic Rodrigo Duterte had not won the presidential election in this country.
Despite the years, and Rodrigo Duterte is already over seventy, the new Filipino president, even before being elected head of state, was distinguished by a sharp temper. When Duterte headed the city of Davao, he stepped up the fight against drug addiction and drug trafficking. Recall that for the Philippines, this problem is really extremely serious. Drug addiction takes the lives and health of young people, and drug traffickers pose a huge threat to national security and public order. Duterte explicitly named the names of several hundreds of Filipino generals, police officers, special services and the armed forces, politicians and officials who are involved in drug trafficking and organized crime in the country. By itself, this act was already very brave.
Then, after becoming president, Duterte became famous for calling on the police and the army to destroy drug dealers without trial. These words of the Philippine president provoked a negative reaction from the American representatives, who accused Duterte of violating human rights. As you know, for the American side, such accusations are often not associated with the real facts of human rights violations, but with an emphasis on the disloyalty of a politician to the US authorities. For example, Bashar al-Assad, a European-educated person, the president of Syria, was accused of violating human rights, but they did not accuse the monarchs of the feudal states of the Gulf countries, who still use medieval justice methods.
However, Duterte responded to these accusations by the US State Department very worthily. 21 August 2016, he said that the Philippines may have to quit the United Nations, as this structure is not able to cope with the global problems of modern humanity - for example, international terrorism, famine in the third world and the war on Middle East. At the same time, the United Nations and the United States allow themselves to intervene in the internal affairs of the Philippines, forgetting that the Philippines is an independent state and is capable of determining its own law enforcement policy.
US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, who tried to criticize Rodrigo Duterte for the active, in the opinion of the United States, the fight against drug trafficking and drug addiction, bothered the unflattering epithets from the Philippine president. The diplomat was called nothing less than a "son of a bitch." Later, September 5 2016, Duterte launched a verbal attack on Barack Obama, which brought the Philippine president worldwide fame.
Speaking before the beginning of the East Asian Summit, held in Laos, Duterta said the following: “You must show respect. Do not rush questions and statements. Son of a whore, I curse you at the summit. ” These words were addressed in the direction of Barack Obama - President of the United States, one of the largest world powers. Moreover, the President of the Philippines, a country that until recently was considered the traditional "junior partner" of the United States, said. Perhaps none of the modern heads of state did not allow such words to the American president.
And now - one more news from the Philippines. Rodrigo Duterte decided as quickly as possible to eliminate all US military bases. “I look forward to the moment when I will no longer see any military in my country other than the Philippines,” said Rodrigo Duterte. By the way, at the forum held in China, Duterte stressed that his country would no longer actively cooperate with the United States, but would reorient to develop relations with China and, possibly, with Russia. Reverence towards Russia Duterte undertook and declared that he would go to Moscow and declare that only three countries in the world are independent - China, Russia and the Philippines.
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