Philippine President Duterte, after making big noise over the last year slamming the United States and cozying up to China and Russia, even looking to buy arms from the PRC and Moscow, and offering up possible basing opportunities, seems to have figured out that the Americans are the only ones who will help him defeats the Islamic State which has metastasized on the Philippine island of Mindanao and morphed into a full blown insurgency. ISIS fighters stormed the city of Marawi and Duterte is having a heck of a time getting them out, constantly shifting deadlines for the process to be complete.
On Tuesday, Duterte’s spokesman announced the president has gotten religion and has figured out the Americans are the only ones he can call. He’s not calling China, who is stealing his sea lanes and fishing areas; he’s not calling Russia, who is licking her chops at Subic Bay as a naval base. No, he’s calling Uncle Sam.
“Duterte has accepted the situation at this stage,” said his spokesman, meaning he has accepted American aid.
America and the PI used to be the closest of allies. Many American GI and sailor have fond memories of Subic Bay and Clark Air Base. It seems U.S. forces are providing technical and surveillance support to Philippine armed forces in the battle for Marwari, the largest city of the island.
“It’s difficult to fight those who are willing to die. They have corrupted the name of God in the form of religion to kill many innocent people, for nothing,” the president said.
Welcome to the fight, Rodrigo.
Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.