Now playing out in a hitherto-neglected region of the world – but not that far from our own beleaguered corner – is the escalating tension between the United States and China.
Tags: At Ground Level
At Ground Level | US, Phl update defense guidelines
The US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, nearly 75 years old now, is being dusted off in the light of “current and emerging threats” to the two countries – read: China’s increasing belligerence about Taiwan and its own maritime claims over almost the entire South China Sea.
At Ground Level | ‘Most lethal’ US drones deployed in Balikatan 2023
Yesterday, the US and Philippine military forces formally ended their 18-day joint war games under the 38th version of the Balikatan. The various exercises, held in Northern and Central Luzon, involved more than 17,000 troops and live-firing of a variety of US modern weapons systems.
At Ground Level | How far EDCA sites will be used remains unclear
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said those investments “will spur job creation and economic growth in local Philippine communities.” His enthusiasm may have exhilarated the current administration, especially the defense establishment. But to us, the Filipino people, one crucial issue remains unclear, even disturbing: how exactly or to what extent the American forces will use the EDCA sites.
‘Unwise and rash’ move to ‘disengage’ from ICC
We don’t have a next move, that is the extent of our involvement with the ICC. That ends all our involvement with the ICC. Because we will no longer appeal, the appeal has failed and there is, in our view, nothing more that we can do in the government and so at this point we essentially are disengaging from any contact, from any communication with the ICC.”
At Ground Level | US military bases are back, via EDCA
This week, the United States and the Philippine militaries – with enthusiastic support from Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – kick-started the implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), the 2014 bilateral executive accord which had been delayed for eight years.
At Ground Level | US-Phl troops prepare for possible war with China
Live-fire training, using naval artillery gunfire and aviation rockets and bombs to sink a vessel in the West Philippine Sea, where China continues its aggressive maneuvers. And the first live-firing here of a US Patriot missile as part of a drill in coastal defense.
At Ground Level | Nine years later, still no clarity on ‘EDCA sites’
A news report on Thursday in Business Mirror that headlined “Senate grills defense brass on plans for EDCA expansion, sites” raised much curiosity for its sheer lack of detailed information. I found this unusual for a reportage by veteran newsman Butch Fernandez, whom I have known for decades.
At Ground level | US gained by saving the Marcoses in 1986
The irony cannot be ignored. Today’s 37th observance of the Filipino people’s historic peaceful uprising – which led to the ouster of the 14-year US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. – happens with his namesake-son sitting as president in Malacañang.
At Ground Level | US touts its aid to boost AFP modernization plan
Last month, the Philippine Navy acquired its first ground-based air defense system (GBADS), consisting of Israeli-made SPYDER missile batteries. Objective: to “neutralize” any potential aerial threat or foreign aircraft intrusion in the country’s airspace. However, this system is categorized as a secondary air defense cover after the PAF’s FA-50PH light jet fighters, earlier acquired from South Korea. This acquisition – costing P6,846,750,000 – is not mentioned in the USSD report.
Is the US preparing for war, or deterring it?
Considering all these revelations from the US and NATO, one may ask: What is the world’s lone superpower thinking? Is the US flexing its military muscles and consolidating its regional and global alliances to deter an impending war with China? Or are these actions meant to prepare for war?