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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Trump: US Will Save Money with Philippine Decision to End Military Pact

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he was not upset by the Philippine government’s decision to terminate the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), adding the move will mean money savings for Washington.


    Trump was responding to the decision by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday to drop the decades-long agreement, announced by Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in a tweet.


    “Well I never minded that very much to be honest,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We helped the Philippines very much. We helped them defeat ISIS.”


    “I don’t really mind if they would like to do that, it will save a lot of money. My views are different from others,” he said, using another acronym for the Islamic State.


    Earlier, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper questioned the Philippine decision.


    “I do think it would be a move in the wrong direction,” he said, emphasizing this comes at a time when the U.S. and other regional allies “are trying to say to the Chinese ‘you must obey the international rules of order.’”


    “And as we try and, you know, bolster our presence and compete with them in this era of great power competition, I think it’s a move in the wrong direction for – for, again, for the longstanding relationship we’ve had with the Philippines for their strategic location, the ties between our peoples, our countries,” Esper said, according to a transcript released by the Pentagon.


    Esper, who spoke to reporters while on his plane from Washington to a NATO meeting in Brussels, said he wanted to hear from his commanders about the move, considered by security analysts as a formal downgrading of the longtime bilateral military alliance.
    “We have to digest it. We have to work through the policy angles, the military angles,” Esper said.


    He said the Philippine decision was unfortunate but U.S. officials had six months to study its implications.


    The Philippines, a former American colony, is among countries that have contending territorial claims in the South China Sea, a vital waterway for international shipping and trade. China claims almost all of the sea, while the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Taiwan have their own overlapping claims to portions of the disputed waters.


    For nearly two decades, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been negotiating a code of conduct to regulate behavior in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, the U.S. military has carried out freedom of navigation flights and sailing in the sea.


    Since taking office in June 2016, Duterte has warned of cutting military ties with the U.S., but his rhetoric softened after Donald Trump was elected U.S. president later that year.


    Duterte’s anger was touched off again in recent weeks after the former national police chief who had led his administration’s controversial war on illegal drugs, Ronald dela Rosa – now a senator – said that the United States had revoked his American visa.


    Dela Rosa surmised that it had something to do with the drug war that he used to enforce. The campaign has left nearly 6,000 suspected drug addicts and dealers dead, according to government figures, and has been described as a humanitarian disaster.


    Duterte also railed against members of the U.S. Senate for backing Philippine Sen. Leila de Lima, his arch nemesis who has been jailed for what she calls trumped up charges of profiting from illegal drugs.


    Adopted in 1999, the VFA allows for joint military exercises after the U.S. vacated two of its largest overseas military installations – the Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Base. In 2017, some of that training was put into action as U.S. intelligence officers aided Philippine troops in their successful battle against Islamic State militants in the southern city of Marawi.


    Philippines: ‘We must stand on our own’


    On Wednesday, Philippine Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. admitted that the VFA termination would affect the military’s ability to combat threats, along with training efforts that have been positive for both nations.


    “Since we have sent the notice, ongoing training activities will push through unless discontinued. Others will not be implemented,” Santos said.


    “It will affect our rescue operations definitely. But we already presented to the defense secretary our plan to move forward to fill the gap,” he said without elaborating.


    Salvador Panelo, the presidential spokesman, said that the VFA should have been scrapped a long time ago.


    “Such a commentary is expected given that the VFA favors the U.S. and its abrogation affects its global strategic defensive positioning,” Panelo said in a statement responding to Esper’s comments.


    “It is about time that we strengthen our defense capabilities. We must stand on our own and put a stop to being a parasite to another country in protecting our independence and sovereignty,” Panelo said.


    He said relying on another nation to boost the military would weaken defenses.


    “We are friends to all, enemies to one. Should any country, however, threaten our territorial integrity and assault our sovereignty, we will rise by our own resources and valiantly defend our motherland the way our forefathers did during their time,” he said.


    Security analyst Rommel Banlaoi, president of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, said he hoped the VFA termination would lead to new negotiations.


    “It will give us an opportunity to negotiate another agreement that will be more advantageous to us,” he told BenarNews. “This doesn’t mean we’re putting behind our good relationship with America. We’re just asking for a good deal with America that’s advantageous to our interest.”


    He said the Philippines’ strategic location in the Asia Pacific guaranteed a good bargaining chip.


    “Before they can enter Guam, Hawaii, mainland U.S., they have to go through the Philippines first,” he said. “We are their natural barrier, we have a very good location.”

    https://www.benarnews.org/english/ne...020144756.html

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    sabang's Avatar
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    Why doesnt he just offer to buy Palawan? Y'know- "Deal of the Century".

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^ Don’t give that jackass Trump any big ideas!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he was not upset by the Philippine
    Posted already (same, more or less):
    https://teakdoor.com/speakers-corner...ml#post4058460 (President Donald Trump)

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Why doesnt he just offer to buy Palawan? Y'know- "Deal of the Century".
    Too late. Word from grapevine is that Palawan has been sold, in parts, to the Chinese.

    There are talks to have VFAs with China & Japan.

  6. #6
    I'm in Jail

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    with great sadness it kinda reminds of that great British rock tune out of Floyd. .....US us us and them.

  7. #7
    I'm in Jail

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    Sory, like a west side of New York flick of ages the families just don't jive.
    Yea, West side story.
    El Nido is still on the bucket list.

    Don't sweat it...............the fish.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Don't want them, they look sour said the fox about the grapes that were out of reach for him
    May the bridges I burn light my way

    There is no plan for no deal because we're going to get a great deal - Boris Johnson in HoC 11 July 2017

  9. #9
    Head Skivvie Stacker Storekeeper's Avatar
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    One of those rare times when SCROTUS tRump gets it right. Absolutely no fooking reason to have a VFA with the Philippines anymore. Don’t need any US troops there. Don’t need to be using PI for port visits. Don’t need to be wasting any bucks on aid there.

    FYI: Any of you non B.Ed teachers in Thailand want a Diploma in Teaching from the PI. My understanding is it’s accepted in LOS ... Diploma in Teaching – Welcome to WVSU

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Philippines: ‘We must stand on our own
    That'd be a first, this whole farce is like some waif with a begging bowl threatening to not tug on your shirt looking for a handout anymore.

  11. #11
    Head Skivvie Stacker Storekeeper's Avatar
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    And ... the USA needs to close down the VA and social security offices we have in the PI. And no VFA should mean closing down the JUSMAG there as well.

  12. #12
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    Plenty of berths for US naval and air presence in Australia and Japan.

  13. #13
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    The US is a geopolitics master, so they won't be just giving away geo-political space to China, imho.

    If the Chinese get some bases in the Philippines, along with their recently made military islands, they will be significantly developing their position to claim ownership of a large portion of S.E.Asia - it's a massive empire building move by China, can't see the US just standing by and watching.
    How do I post these pictures???

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    The US is a geopolitics master
    But Trump is a moron.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    can't see the US just standing by and watching.
    ...and some other countries could get the same idea and follow the suit...

  16. #16
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    ...and some other countries could get the same idea and follow the suit...
    Like who? No one else has the capability nor geographic advantages
    Quote Originally Posted by Chico View Post
    Upto until the 70's Australians referred to themselves as Pom's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chico View Post
    Just asking the supposed teacher if he is a teacher,as anything more than ten syllables and he's fucked.

  17. #17
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    I was in Subic and Angeles last October. There were no US ships there, or anything else. Just a couple of sad old GI bars playing blues, and one in particular doing decent soul food. Koreans have taken over Angeles now. Aussie pissheads rule in Subic.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    I was in Subic and Angeles last October. There were no US ships there, or anything else. Just a couple of sad old GI bars playing blues, and one in particular doing decent soul food. Koreans have taken over Angeles now. Aussie pissheads rule in Subic.

    Why would there be? They closed Subic Bay in 1992 you fucking divvy.


  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
    sabang's Avatar
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    Still a VFA, or whatever they call it. And it's the nearest port to the Spratly's, which they say they're patrolling. But who gives a rats anyway. There are a handful of old GI types still around, drinking their blues away- but they wouldn't be able to fight out of a wet paper bag. Decent company though. Actually, I was surprised at the lack of Americana down in Subic. Just in Angeles.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Still a VFA, or whatever they call it. And it's the nearest port to the Spratly's, which they say they're patrolling. But who gives a rats anyway. There are a handful of old GI types still around, drinking their blues away- but they wouldn't be able to fight out of a wet paper bag. Decent company though. Actually, I was surprised at the lack of Americana down in Subic. Just in Angeles.
    What on earth are you banging on about? I would go to Bahrain, you might find lots of ships and seppos there because that's where they moved the 5th fleet.


  21. #21
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    It would take a lot more than a few guaranteed yanks to get me to go to Bahrain.

  22. #22
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    You want more???
    Quote Originally Posted by Chico View Post
    Upto until the 70's Australians referred to themselves as Pom's.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chico View Post
    Just asking the supposed teacher if he is a teacher,as anything more than ten syllables and he's fucked.

  23. #23
    Head Skivvie Stacker Storekeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    Still a VFA, or whatever they call it. And it's the nearest port to the Spratly's, which they say they're patrolling. But who gives a rats anyway. There are a handful of old GI types still around, drinking their blues away- but they wouldn't be able to fight out of a wet paper bag. Decent company though. Actually, I was surprised at the lack of Americana down in Subic. Just in Angeles.
    Yep ... still have an American Legion Post on Magsaysay. And a VFW Post around there somewhere. Mostly dudes 50 and up I’d guess.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
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    Didn't see that actually- but I was just in Barrio Baretto really, and it was mostly raining so I didn't venture far. The ex-GI influence was much more apparent in Angeles though- even a Prince Hall masonic lodge there.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storekeeper View Post
    Yep ... still have an American Legion Post on Magsaysay. And a VFW Post around there somewhere. Mostly dudes 50 and up I’d guess.

    This bloke seems to still be clinging on and among other things uses his site to post the demise of the ones that decided not to go home.


    Sort of an Angeles "Stickman".

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