Flipping the Philippines: The Philippine government this week began the formal legal process of ejecting US forces from the country and ending the US-Philippine alliance.
[Zeihan] The Philippine government this week began the formal legal process of ejecting US forces from the country and ending the US-Philippine alliance. Chinese involvement in the decision isn't so much suspected as assumed. The few pundits who can tear themselves away from the American primary process are bemoaning another American strategic retreat.
Me? Not so much.
| Losing the Philippines isn't a death-blow, but it certainly is a step in the wrong direction – especially if the Americans get out of the business of doing the heavy-lifting for Asian security. Expect a flotilla of Japanese diplomacy, military assistance, tech transfers and outright bribes as Tokyo attempts to pick up what the Americans are dropping. |
The Philippines is one of those countries I normally have a hard time getting excited about. As a shattered archipelago it has a damn hard time holding itself together in anything that the rest of the world might recognize as a united nation-state. Secessionist struggles define the country's modern incarnation, and outside of the major island of Luzon, the place is a riot of different ethnicities and languages. Add in rugged, tropical terrain and it will never be a local, much less regional power.
Posted by: Herb McCoy 2020-02-16