Manila– Members of Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD)trooped to Mendiola today to protest on-going negotiations of between Washington and the Aquino Administration for increased US military presence in the country.
According to Elmer Arisgado, spokesperson for Youth for Nationalism-KPD, denials from US Pacific Command head Admiral Robert Willard and Head of Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office that there would be no new bases in the works is a half-truth and should be treated as a play at semantics .
Arisgado adds that the new US military strategy essential calls for US troops that can be readily deployed anywhere at any time via a network of military installations provided by a willing host-nation. For instance, what we have in Mindanao is considered a type of base known as a cooperative security location or CSL. Almost six hundred US troops have been embedded in the Southern Philippines for more than a decade.
A CSL is a facility provided by the host-nation which is for war games and other security cooperation activities. They may contain pre-positioned equipment and can be expanded to be a FOS (forward operating site) which is an expandable host-nation facility that can host rotational forces and be a focus area for bilateral or regional training.
“There would be no security for the country if we let more US troops encroach on our land, air and sea in the name of containing China. Are we that poor a nation that we need a bully-nation like the US to look out for our interests?” pointed out Arisgado.
He adds that six decades of unequal partnership with the US should already be proof enough that the US has no other interest in mind but its own. “ In the past our treaties with the US has served to drag us into its interventionist wars from Vietnam, Korea to Iraq and Afghanistan” pointed out Arisgado.
“ The type of bases may have been streamlined but they still serve to amplify US military might in the region, especially at this time when China has put one over the US economically,” declared Arisgado.
“ We should move to get out of the US Network of Bases rather than negotiate to further integrate ourselves in it,” ended Arisgado. ####