Is Duterte Trying to End the U.S.-Philippines Alliance?

An amphibious assault vehicle carries American and Philippine troops during a joint military exercise in Zambales province, northwest of Manila, the Philippines, April 11, 2019 (AP photo by Bullit Marquez).
An amphibious assault vehicle carries American and Philippine troops during a joint military exercise in Zambales province, northwest of Manila, the Philippines, April 11, 2019 (AP photo by Bullit Marquez).

Last week, after hinting at it for some time, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would terminate a key military pact with the United States. The Visiting Forces Agreement, in place for two decades, allows Washington to keep rotations of American soldiers in the Philippines. As Richard Heydarian has noted, the deal also provides a legal basis for the numerous annual joint military exercises between U.S. and Philippines forces. Tearing it up is the biggest break in bilateral relations at least since Manila forced Washington to give up its Philippine bases in 1991 and 1992. Some analysts, like Heydarian, go […]

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