What If the Philippines Ends the Visiting Forces Agreement? [March 17, 2020]   [open pdf - 520KB]

From the Document: "On February 10, 2020, the Government of the Philippines submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Manila a 'notice of termination' of the Philippines-U.S. Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The VFA governs the legal status of U.S. military forces operating in the Philippines and establishes rules by which U.S. troops, vessels and aircraft may enter the country. The notification started a 180-day review period; the agreement itself will expire at the end of that time. The VFA has been in effect since 1999, eight years after the Philippines rejected a treaty that would have extended the U.S. lease of Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base and ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the Philippines. The move raises uncertainties about the future of U.S.-Philippine military cooperation, an important part of the U.S. security posture in Asia. The Philippines is a U.S. treaty ally, and the termination of the VFA would not change that status. However, broad aspects of U.S.-Philippine cooperation, including military exercises and U.S. access to Philippine military facilities, could be made difficult or impossible without the legal protection of the VFA. This lack of cooperation could hinder U.S. initiatives to utilize the network of U.S. alliances in the region, to address tensions in the South China Sea, where the Philippines has long-standing disputes with China, and to conduct counterterrorism efforts in the southern Philippines. It also could affect U.S. humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the region."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN11248
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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