23 years after the Philippines evicted US forces from their country, a new deal has been signed that is set to allow the US to “pre-position” forces in the nation and resume access to some of the bases.
The Obama Administration has been hard-selling the deal for months as a chance for the Philippines to secure US military aid to “counter Chinese aggression” in the South China Sea.
The Philippines and China are just two of several nations with conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea, and the US has promised military backing for the Philippines military to defend their claims against China. The US has made similar promises to virtually everyone else with a claim that is contrary to China’s own claims.
The United States occupied the Philippines militarily after the Spanish-American War, and engaged in a brutal suppression of pro-independence rebels. The Philippines finally achieved full independence from the US in 1946, but US troops remained present in a big way until their 1991 expulsion.