Why Marcos invited the US troops is a mystery
The trend is shifting in favour of a stronger troops
American presence in South-east Asia, fueled by rising tensions with China, three decades after the United States decommissioned its last military facility there.
This may be seen very clearly in the Philippines, where Mr. Rodrigo Duterte, the previous fiery president,
had a history of questioning the future of defence ties with the US, usually in response to what he viewed as slights or intervention in internal issues from Washington.
However, under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.,
the United States is gaining a number of new footholds in the nation,
Which is a crucial link in the Pentagon’s “island chain” strategy for defensive lines in the Pacific.
How has the tide changed, first?
The number of military sites the US can visit in the Philippines will increase
from five to nine according to an expansion of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement that was reached this year.
Additionally, it enables the US to construct new facilities on the additional bases,
Three of which are located in the north less than 480km from Taiwan’s southern tip, the self-governing island whose future is at the centre of US-China tensions, and rotate its troops for extended stays.
(The fourth lies in the south, on Palawan, and faces the South China Sea.)
2. What is the catalyst?
Concerned by China’s escalating military might, US President Joe Biden has worked to alter the US military’s
posture in the Indo-Pacific area. That includes improving relations with the Philippines now that Mr. Marcos,
the late dictator’s son and steadfast US ally, has taken Mr. Duterte’s place.
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