Is the National Security Council abusing steroids? According to the Diplomat, the United States
“has reportedly agreed to substantially increase its military presence in the Philippines, increasing the number of troops, aircraft and ships which routinely rotate through the country. Details surrounding the scale of the increase were not made public but Pio Lorenzo Batino, the Philippines deputy defense minister said policy consultations were also held on a framework that would allow Washington to bolster military equipment in-country as well.”
It is rather obvious to the world why we are making this deal with the Philipines. But, of course, the United States is pretending this is all about humanitarian help.
“Increased U.S. support would also serve The Philippines when struggling against natural disasters, which occur quite frequently. Typhoon Bopha was the most recent, claiming more than 900 lives as it swept across the southern Philippines last week. Both Manila and Washington seemed to emphasis the humanitarian nature of the increased U.S. presence in the country, likely in an effort to assuage China’s inevitable concerns.”
I am sorry for the Philippines suffering in natural disasters, but we have our own disasters to worry about. And it is not the responsibility of the US Armed Forces to help other countries with natural disasters. And it isn’t clear how bolstering “military equipment in-country” would be necessary for this sort of humanitarian aid.
When we look out over the world and read the news, one wonders if it would be simpler to list the countries where we aren’t sending troops. Here we are in the middle of an economic crisis, and facing the need to make massive spending cuts, yet Obama is committed to encircling China. This has been a fixation of his, as BBC reported last year, on Obama’s speech in Australia:
“The Asia-Pacific region is now a ‘top priority’ of US security policy, President Barack Obama has said in a speech to the Australian parliament. Mr Obama insisted US spending cuts would not affect the Asia-Pacific, saying the US is ‘here to stay.’ His comments are seen as a challenge to China, which is striving to be the main power in the region. Mr Obama announced a plan on Wednesday to station a full US Marine task force in Australia by 2016. The measure will eventually see 2,500 US personnel based in the north of the country” (emphasis added).
Back then, however, China kept quiet. Now they are expressing their anger.
I have no idea who is right and who is wrong about disputes over territorial claims in the South China Sea. What I do know is that, if China moved their armies into a Caribbean Island, and demanded that they be involved in our diplomatic negotiations with our neighbors, no American would stand still for it.
So why are we insisting in involving ourselves in far away nations and provoking China? Why aren’t we cutting back and bringing the troops home in order to reduce the deficit?
There is no love lost between me and the Chinese communist government. But the United States’ impending debt collapse is far more of a serious national security threat than anything on that side of the Pacific. Obama and Clinton need to pull back and deal with our budget problems rather than dumping money into the Pacific Ocean.