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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he delivered notice of ending the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, triggering a 180-day waiting period. Duterte expressed concern about visa revocation of an official who ran that country’s harsh crackdown on illegal drugs. The two countries have been allies since 1951 under the Mutual Defense Treaty, and ending the agreement that allows large numbers of troops and equipment to enter the Philippines will have regional implications. Prashanth Parameswaran suggests that termination could be “the biggest actual threat” to the alliance since Duterte took office, especially as countries raise alarm about Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. Without the “collaboration, interoperability, and capacity-building” of US troops, the alliance would be “neutered,”warns Parameswaran. “For Manila, this would degrade a significant source of security that it has continued to rely on even as its military capabilities remain limited and the threat posed by China remains real in spite of Duterte’s much-ballyhooed charm offensive to Beijing.” The move could heighten uncertainty about other US initiatives, including its Indo-Pacific strategy. The Philippines could yet reconsider, with diplomacy or new conditions. – YaleGlobal
Duterte services notice to the US of ending the Visiting Forces Agreement – a move that could increase Chines ambitions in the region and heighten tensions
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Source of original article: Susan Froetschel / YaleGlobal Online, a publication of the MacMillan Center at Yale (yaleglobal.yale.edu).
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