Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Regaining Ground?: US Military Presence in the Philippines 15 Years after the Closure of the Bases (A Public Forum)

20 November 2007 (Tuesday)
10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Bulwagang Recto, Faculty Center
College of Arts and Letters
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City


On November 24, 1992, the last of the US troops left Subic Naval Base–ending nearly a century of US military presence in the Philippines.This followed the vote by the Philippine Senate a year earlierrejecting the extension of US basing in the country.

Fifteen years after, the United States, with the consent of the Philippine government, succeeded in stationing a US military unit in Mindanao indefinitely, sending thousands of troops for weeks at a time in recurring year-round exercises in various places all over the country. This has expanded the roles US troops are allowed to assume to include so-called “non-traditional” threats, and established a new category of low-key US military installations whose existence and locations have yet to be revealed by the government.

All these come at a time of great geopolitical shifts in the region: the United States has taken on a more assertive, more unilateral foreign policy stance, shifting its attention to Asia from Europe during the Cold War; meanwhile China, which has been singled out by the US as its greatest potential rival, continues to emerge as a rising power. Other states in the region are finding themselves having to respond to a quick-changing international environment.

This forum provides an opportunity to pause and evaluate the larger questions posed by the country’s relations with the United States.

- What drives US military strategy in the Philippines?
- In what ways and how has the US re-established its presence in the
- What are its implications domestically?
- What are its implications to the country’s relations with China and
other neighbors?

The forum will also be the formal launch of Focus on the Global South’s new special report, ‘At the Door of all the East’: The Philippines in US Military Strategy. Limited copies of the report will be given to the first 50 participants to confirm attendance.

RSVP: Lou (Focus) at 433-0899; Bien (TWSC) at 920-5428

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