U.S. boosts militia presence in Philippines to counteract China’s rising aggression


Geoff: The U.S. And the Philippines reached an agreement today allowing American military forces to operate in four yet to be confirmed new locations across the nation. Today's move is aimed at confronting China and its focus on Taiwan, which is only a few.

Hundred miles from one of the new locations where U.S. Forces will likely operate. Another new location faces the south China sea. Last month, the U.S. And Japan announced an agreement allowing American forces to operate on a Japanese island that is even.

Closer to Taiwan. For analysis, Zack cooper joins us. He is a senior fellow at the American enterprise institute, a Washington think tank. He also served in various national security posts during the George W. Bush.

Administration. It is great to have you here. And how will they U.S. Use these military bases with the goal of confronting China's influence in the region? Zack: I think the objective here is to provide new assets where the United States can place its.

Forces so they are not so focused on a few bases in east Asia. Right now, the U.S. Uses okinawa and Guam as its main operating locations, and being able to diversify away from a couple locations makes the targeting challenge much more difficult.

For China. Geoff: What does the Philippines get out of allowing the U.S. To expand its military footprint there? That is a politically sensitive issue as you know because many filipinos see the American influence as being a vestige of.

Colonialism. Zack: Absolutely. This is really about places, not bases. We are not talking about going back to big U.S. Facilities in the Philippines. These are Philippine bases where U.S. Forces will be operating.

Sometimes, probably on an operational basis. With the filipinos get, and why they are asking the U.S. To come back in, is a presence in the south China sea where the Chinese are pushing the filipinos quite hard. Some other assistance with.

Disaster relief, which is a huge issue in the pacific rim. Geoff: What is the nature of the relationship right now between China and the Philippines. ? This agreement was initially signed in 2014, but progress stalled because the former.

President decided to pivot toward beijing and away from the U.S.. Zack: This is in part a win for the United States but also in part a mess for China. This was a chance for the Chinese government to drive a wedge between the U.S. And.

Philippines over the last X years. What we have seen is that Rodrigo duterte is gone and his successor has welcomed the U.S. Back in, which has been a surprise for some of us. I think the reason is China has pushed too hard.

It pushed the Philippines and the south China sea and others economically. These countries are saying, we have told rely on the united States, there is no other option. Geoff: There is a debate on the merits of having Marines, army.

Forces, American troops on these islands where they are effectively isolated. It could be hard to supply them or medically evacuate them if that is what is necessary. Explain that debate for us right now. Zack: The debate is between.

Stand in forces and outside forces. Outside forces say aircraft carriers from operating far away might be able to strike targets in the theater, maybe in the Taiwan street. I think the argument the Marines are making as it is important to.

Still be there. How can you reassure your friends if you're not there with them in the fight? To have a layer of forces that are stand in forces is important. They can sense the region around them and we can put new.

Capabilities, things like anti-ship cruise missiles, on those facilities if the Philippines and others let us that can hold Chinese targets at risk. Geoff: What are the steps? Zack: This is a big question. The agreement in 2014, the next.

Step was to execute and build out some of those facilities and have U.S. Forces use them, and that never happened. The thing many of us will be looking for is whether U.S. Forces are deployed on rotational deployments. There is a commitment of.

Something like $82 million that is supposed to go in these facilities soon. We will be looking for those signs they are executing. But as Lloyd Austin said just yesterday,, this is a very big deal. And I think he is right.

Geoff: That cooper, it is good to see you. Zack: Thank you.

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