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Philippine bases treaty to up US arms sales

The proposed Philippines-U.S. bases access accord should be scrutinized for its hidden motives, to remove chaff from grain. The agreement will chain the Philippines as a permanent station for bolstering America's military presence in Asia-Pacific and its arms trade. Building the Philippines' “minimum deterrence capability” in territorial feuds with China and ensuring a U.S. shield against external aggression are just sound bytes. The corporate agenda is concealed by security objectives.

Bases access was raised by Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin last year and again early this year in response to the territorial tensions with China in the West Philippine Sea and the North Korean missile crisis. This month, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III confirmed bilateral talks with the United States on the bases access accord. He said bases access is also open to Japan, which has its own territorial row with China.

To be clear, bases access is not the Philippines' plan. Air/sea access is required by the Pentagon's “pivot to Asia” or rebalancing strategy, which repositions 60 percent of America's global armed force to Asia by 2020, with Southeast Asia as a specific thrust.

The strategy of keeping U.S. supremacy in the region in the 21st century protects increased U.S. investments and trade in Asia — the world's leading economy — and minimizes China's economic footprint while containing its maritime power to its national boundaries. Big budget allocations boost U.S. air/sea power. Defense partnerships and air/sea access with the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other countries are refitted for Pentagon's geostrategic goals.

But that is just one side of the truth. The other is that the Pentagon and its global military architecture are linked to America's arms manufacturers led by Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon. Big chunks of its yearly budget — US$600 billion in 2013 — go to defense contracts. U.S. Navy and Air Force allocations are prioritized to support air/sea power rebalancing. Thus, the pivot strategy secures corporate war profits; it offsets the reduction of the arms manufacturers' profits due to troop withdrawals in the Middle East and a slowdown in European arms-buying.

Arms production is inextricably linked to naval and air access agreements as well as war exercises. Adm. Samuel J. Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said rebalancing needs arms to modernize U.S. treaty alliances. Predictably, the Aerospace Industries Association, the trade group of leading arms manufacturers, says that the pivot “will result in growing opportunities for our industry to help equip our friends.”

Indeed, multibillion-dollar defense contracts sustain the Pacific Fleet's 200-plus ships (including 11 carriers), 2,000 aircraft, and 250,000 sailors and marines. In 2011, U.S. corporations cornered US$66.3 billion (75 percent) of the US$85-billion global arms trade, with the bulk going to Asia Pacific — rising by 5.4 percent in 2011-2012. This year, the U.S. war industry plans to sell US$1.2-billion spy drones to South Korea, Australia and Singapore, and to Japan, US$421-million guided-missile destroyers, land-based X-Band radar systems, and US$5-billion F-35 fighter jets.

July 21, 2013    romanalo@
As a Filipino, we should all understand and praise our President Noynoy's strong determination and stance to defend our right to disputed territories in the West Phil Seas being claimed by China, which is rightfully our very own. And with their enormous military power, what we need are true friends like US and Japan. Bien sure we will never forget WW2 and the hardships and sufferings Japan inflicted to us and our beloved country. But we must also learn a lot from history. In defending us America and Japan are the worst of enemies. But afterwards they became the best of friends and economic partners. And the US albeit the scrapping out of our bases agreement, they are always there to help us. So is Japan. I've never been proud as a Filipino now that we have an honest and great President Noynoy. That changed a lot in the world's eye their perception of us as a Filipino. As if we're but nobody before. And now that our country is becoming a shining star, here comes these bullying China claiming our rich laden territories as their own. Disregarding even the UNCLOS. And with our ill equipped military arsenal compared to China's war chest what we need to protect our rights and preserve our patrimony are friends who could help us balance China's military power. So let this be a wake up call to all my Filipino compatriots, especially to those nationalists (kuno) who will oppose the opening of our bases to US and Japan, please understand very well the situation. BRAVO MR. PRESIDENT NOYNOY!!!!
July 22, 2013    edann77@
Wow! I am impressed by Mr. Tuazon's article. Forthright, honest, and a perspective not often voiced by politicians and 'alpha-heads' or alpha wannabes. I'm surprised he's not been silenced and is still allowed a voice. Like every other group, alpha-heads need a reality check to keep things in a healthy perspective and balanced. Long live liberty... and responsibility!
July 22, 2013    simtek130@
It also puts US military hours away from Taiwan, in a situation of China invading. Currently 24 hours is required to support Taiwan where as bases in the Philippines cuts the time in half and makes interdiction only 60 minutes away in respect to the current 4 or so hours.
July 23, 2013    linogaw@
What will happen to the Lion? Sad to say that the "Arrogant Lion" will look like a "Wet and Lonely Cat".
July 24, 2013    jamesobh@
It will be the beginning of the end of the US if the US ventures to start and fight a war with China. Regardless that she has allies such as Japan and Philippines to fight China, the US forces will be driven back to her own soil where it will be invaded by China and the US will finally be destroyed in WW3. China will survive WW3 and even participate in battles during the Last Days, as a member of the "Kings of the East." The contingent's size will be 200 million troops, coming from all members of the kings of the east. And it is in the likelihood that the US and her allies cannot survive WW3.
July 27, 2013    kkrwren@
Makes great sense to the USA. Not sure it does for Philippines. Having been a vassal state or colony for the US for over 200 years, maybe it is time to ask how that has been working out for the Philippines? The definition of stupidity some say is to do the same thing again and again and expect different results. LOL.
July 29, 2013    ozivan99@
ASEAN member countries have been wise and cautious over the SCS, except lately for Philippines. Philippines chooses to stand in front of the battle line against China, instead of using quiet diplomacy, to the glee and expectation of the US's pivot to Asia game plan.

You bet the US knew the mentality/gullibility of the Filipinos after having ruled them for a century or more that they will be the first to offer themselves as bait to start a fight.

Make no mistake, China might be waiting for Philippine to make a blunder again, as like sending a warship to arrest/bully unarmed fishing vessels in Scarborough Shaol or the trigger happy Filipino sailors who shoot and kill the captain of an unarmed Taiwanese fishing vessel for laughs!!

What next..??? Something stupid by some highly emotional Filipinos armed personnel is going to happen again? China is waiting.

Remember that historically China has only reacted to incidents/provocation in the SCS initiated by others.

The next time Philippine makes a serious mistake again, China may give you a "Real, Big Bloodied Nose"... which you'll never forget.

And what can the US do if the incident is started and created by Filipinos whether intentionally or accidentally? Don't bet that the US or the international community will come to your help if that forthcoming incident is caused by some stupid Filipinos.

I am pretty sure China is waiting anxiously for that moment to give Philippines a real big thrashing.....just be careful though!!
August 7, 2013    jspidyl@
So that means that your neighbor can declare your personal things just like what your doing to the Philippines. China declares that island is theirs. Even though its 1000 miles away from China mainland. China is good in math. Why can’t they calculate the distance from there country and what their claiming for. It is because you have a vast military equipment all you have to do is take what’s is not yours wake up. And China knows Philippines for now has no capability of military equipment, why can’t they claim first what near them like what their claiming in Japan, fight Japan first before Philippines, then China will come to know.
August 24, 2013    johnmichaelsweet@
THE PHILIPPINES MUST HAVE ITS OWN MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEMS (ANTI-MISSILE MISSILE, ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE, ANTI-SHIP MISSILE, ANTI-TANK MISSILE CAPABILITIES) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! THE HOSTILE/ENEMY NATIONS WILL SURELY USE ITS MISSILES AGAINST THE FILIPINO FORCES.....THE PHILIPPINES MUST ANTICIPATE THESE GRIM SCENARIOS OF OUR FORCES AND POPULATION BEING UNDER ATTACK BY HOSTILE NATIONS MISSILES....WE MUST INTERCEPT AND DESTROY ALL INCOMING ENEMY MISSILES IN THE AIR BEFORE REACHING OUR TERRITORIES AND PEOPLE!

Missile Defense Systems currently being used by THE ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCE against incoming missiles from its enemy nations are proven effective....Also the Patriot and Aegis Missile Defense Systems of Japan, South Korea and Kuwait are proven effective and a deterrence against big hostile/invading nations.

The Philippines must acquired or must have at least 100 mobile anti-missile-missile mobile launchers to be stationed facing the West Philippine Sea guarding its air spaces and ready to identify, intercept and shoot down enemy ballistic missiles coming from hostile/enemy nations' missile launchers from their land, warships, aircrafts and submarines. Missiles form enemy nations might be loaded or armed with biological, chemical, bacteriological, germ, nuclear or atomic, thermonuclear warheads that can destroy and annihilate us, Filipinos in just a minute or less, even in a few seconds. These deadly missiles must be intercept/destroyed/shot down by our anti-missile-missile defense systems far away, miles away before reaching us,...the Philippines must also have its own mobile anti-aircraft missiles, anti-ship missiles, 2000 units of portable anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to be carried by our soldiers defending our country. Fourth Generation Fighter jets must also be acquired by our Armed Forces to intercept any warplanes from enemy nations intruding our territories or trying to bomb the populace.
September 20, 2013    rpasigna@
edann77@ wrote:
Wow! I am impressed by Mr. Tuazon's article. Forthright, honest, and a perspective not often voiced by politicians and 'alpha-heads' or alpha wannabes. I'm surprised he's not been silenced and is still allowed a voice. Like every other group, alpha-heads need a reality check to keep things in a healthy perspective and balanced. Long live liberty... and responsibility!
America will not fight your war... You should be willing to increase your military budget and not rely on your friends who will abandon you in the middle of the fight.. Have you not learned a lesson from Vietnam? Stop begging for American junks. They will help countries like Pakistan. Turkey, Egypt, etc.. by giving them billions of dollars in military aid because they respect them, but they will give their friends and true allies a measly 30million dollars and a 45 year old warship that would be a target practice for the Chinese Navy..
September 20, 2013    rpasigna@
ozivan99@ wrote:
ASEAN member countries have been wise and cautious over the SCS, except lately for Philippines. Philippines chooses to stand in front of the battle line against China, instead of using quiet diplomacy, to the glee and expectation of the US's pivot to Asia game plan.

You bet the US knew the mentality/gullibility of the Filipinos after having ruled them for a century or more that they will be the first to offer themselves as bait to start a fight.

Make no mistake, China might be waiting for Philippine to make a blunder again, as like sending a warship to arrest/bully unarmed fishing vessels in Scarborough Shaol or the trigger happy Filipino sailors who shoot and kill the captain of an unarmed Taiwanese fishing vessel for laughs!!

What next..??? Something stupid by some highly emotional Filipinos armed personnel is going to happen again? China is waiting.

Remember that historically China has only reacted to incidents/provocation in the SCS initiated by others.

The next time Philippine makes a serious mistake again, China may give you a "Real, Big Bloodied Nose"... which you'll never forget.

And what can the US do if the incident is started and created by Filipinos whether intentionally or accidentally? Don't bet that the US or the international community will come to your help if that forthcoming incident is caused by some stupid Filipinos.

I am pretty sure China is waiting anxiously for that moment to give Philippines a real big thrashing.....just be careful though!!
Chinese looters of Philippine sea treasures.... Bullies always pick on the weak and helpless.. but are afraid of the strong and mighty like the US... China is a paper tiger.. they will collapse soon .. they need to snort more opium so they can think better
November 13, 2013    lernerlangwej@
China in its history, has often contracted when it was weak and expanded when it was strong.
Today it has territorial disputes with Japan, Philippines, India, South and North Korea, Taiwan of course, Malaysia, Brunei, even Bhutan!

It is loudly proclaiming its 'inviolable' Sovereignty over some half submerged rocks of the coast of the Philippines. However, it does not have a current dispute with Russia which, in the 19th century, simply walked into 'Outer Manchuria' and grabbed close to a million square kilometers. What a bully. China is brave with small countries but cowardly when it comes to a big and powerful one.

If China thinks it can prosper when it has disputes with so many of its neighbors, then it should think again. China has experienced many tragic events in its history, and this current situation shows that it will continue down that tragic road.
November 28, 2013    chinito03@
jamesobh@ wrote:
It will be the beginning of the end of the US if the US ventures to start and fight a war with China. Regardless that she has allies such as Japan and Philippines to fight China, the US forces will be driven back to her own soil where it will be invaded by China and the US will finally be destroyed in WW3. China will survive WW3 and even participate in battles during the Last Days, as a member of the "Kings of the East." The contingent's size will be 200 million troops, coming from all members of the kings of the east. And it is in the likelihood that the US and her allies cannot survive WW3.
200 million troops.. yeah but you guys have planes and boats to transport them here in the US? DREAM ON! Before they can even land... they're gonna be wiped out before they can even see our shores...
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