New US Military Base a Bad Idea?


New U.S. military presence in the Philippines a bad idea, says OBRCC founder

US bases back in the Philippines

This year, the United States forged a new alliance with the former dictator’s son and now president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The U.S. Defense confirmed an upgraded EDCA deal signed last February 1, 2023, with Lloyd Austin signing the new agreement. He was on an official visit to the Philippines.

Accelerate and expand EDCA

The fresh deal designates four new locations in the Philippines. In addition, it will also accelerate the completion of the existing projects in five areas under the EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement).

EDCA was first signed in 2014—totaling the joint U.S. military presence in nine locations by 2024, exactly a decade after.

Counter China’s influence

The increased militarization in its former colony is meant to counter Chinese communist influence in the contested region. Japan is increasingly being militarized as well, like never before.

Already, the U.S. has about 750 overseas military bases in more than 80 countries—an attempt to put a balance in the growing global power of China.

Good for the Philippines’ grassroots economy

The United States has allocated over $82 million toward infrastructure investments at the existing five sites under the EDCA. These investments will help with economic growth and job creation in local communities.


EDCA expansion is dangerous

Not everyone agrees with the expansion. In addition to five U.S. bases where U.S. troops are deployed in the Philippines, making nine in months to come is the wrong image and direction the country is portraying.

Anthropology professor dissents

In an Interview with Democracy Now, David Vine, a professor of anthropology at American University and co-founder of the Overseas Base Realignment and Closure Coalition, said about the new U.S. bases in the Philippines, “this is precisely what we don’t need.”

Do we want a war with China?

Vine explained that we must draw down U.S. military bases in regional forces while building our diplomatic presence.

I think the people of the United States do not want war; they are sick and tired of fighting, after 21 years of war, launched by the George W. Bush Administration with its war on terror,” he said.

Too much has been drawn

Too much blood and resources have already been drawn. The catastrophe in Afghanistan, Iraq, and those dating to the war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia has overwhelmed resources. We need to move in another direction, Vine added.

A recent development, including openly helping Ukraine, is a risk of a direct military confrontation and war between the United States, China, and its ally Russia.


American military expansion is critical to global peace

Biden’s Afghanistan pullout was a mess. “It is a stain on our nation’s integrity and honor…,” said Jake Wood, a former US Marine and Afghan war veteran interviewed by CNN. What Biden did gave the impression of a “weak America.”

Hence, military expansion remains critical to put a balance in global domination.

Similarly, the move to expand the U.S. military in the Philippines is a positive thing for a retired Filam USAF Major Ray, who also fought in Afghanistan.

The drawdown (in Afghanistan) led to a wrong perception of America and subsequently emboldened Russia to invade Ukraine, which led to a global economic mess,” he said.

Hence, the expanded U.S. military presence in the Philippines is necessary.

The United States already has, by the pentagon’s count, 313 US military-based sites in East Asia plus 750 US military bases outside the 50 states. Its military presence in Asia is also in South Korea, Japan, and Singapore.


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