Potential Role of the Philippines in U.S. Naval Forward Presence   [open pdf - 921KB]

This thesis argues that the U.S. Navy should attempt to re-establish a presence in Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, because Subic Bay offers the best base from which to support U.S. Naval forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region. With the shift of defense focus from the European to the Asia-Pacific region, and the current "War on Terrorism," the problem of finding more secure bases for U.S. Naval forward presence has increasingly become a problem. Four main arguments are used to support this thesis: The Philippines served as the linchpin of U.S. Naval forward presence for almost a century. Second, the Philippines, especially Subic Bay, offers the best basing arrangements in the Asia-Pacific region potentially available to the U.S. Navy. Alternative options, such as U.S. territory of Guam, the countries of Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Mobile Offshore Base, present problem of a geographic, political, security, or technical nature. Third, it will suggest that the strategic and political considerations that led to a U.S. departure from the Philippines in 1992 have changed with the increasing assertiveness of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the destabilization of Indonesia, and the Islamic insurgency that affects several southern islands of the Philippines. Finally, the benefits of a U.S./Philippine rapprochement far outweigh the disadvantages.

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