The recent Salacnib exercises, the arrival of the warship USS America and the upcoming Balikatan war games involving 12,000 US troops are all part of US power projection and muscle-flexing in the region. We have to ask: what national interest does this serve for the Philippines? Why are we allowing an imperialist monster, responsible for wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, to bring its war-mongering in this region? Why is the Philippine government being a witting foot stool for US imperialist agenda in Asia?
Beneath the hype in the arrival of US soldiers are the unequal military agreements such as the MDT, VFA and EDCA. The US seeks to maximize its military presence on our shores as part of its strategy to encircle and provoke China. As in the past, the US gets free use of the Philippines for its overseas wars.
These US military actions will only escalate tensions in the region and provoke an arms race. The US has done enough damage in the Middle East and North Africa and we do not need it wrecking havoc in Asia. We do not need endless US wars.
We should stand up to China on our own terms, availing of all political and diplomatic means, as well as strengthening our own defense capabilities. What we should not be doing is pinning our hopes on an imagined “benevolent” imperialist power whose interests are not identical to our own.
Bayan will campaign against the permanent US military presence under EDCA and the provocative Balikatan war games that only seek to advance US dominance in this region. We want all US troops and bases out of the Philippines.