ILPS International Coordinating Committee
In January this year, US President Barack Obama announced that the US will realign and rebalance its forces towards Asia and the Middle East purportedly to meet “ new threats” to the security of the region and “to protect” its economic interest in one of the resources-rich regions of the world. As stated in its new defense strategy, US economic and security interests are “inextricably linked” to developments in the Asia-Pacific.
In light of its worsening economic crisis, the US has been more aggressive in securing and advancing its economic and politico-military interests in Asia.
The US plans to move its troops from Okinawa to Guam, build new bases in South Korea, increase troop rotation and stationing in the Philippines and Australia, increase port calls and bilateral/multilateral military exercises in the region. The so-called balancing towards Asia is aimed at encircling and containing China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The US wants to make the Phiippines, Australia, Japan and Guam as springboards for regional power projection as well as armed intervention. The redeployment is bound to increase interference in countries that are asserting their national sovereignty against the US.
After facing protests in Japan, the US will move 8,500 troops from Okinawa to Guam, Australia, Philippines and Hawaii. In the Philippines, the US wants to regain its former naval base in Subic, Zambales and have facilities in Cebu and Batanes Island and hold frequent and longer periods of military war exercises in many parts of the country. The US is also seeking greater presence in the disputed areas of the South China Sea. The US has also sought the building of bases in Jeju Island in South Korea and the expansion in western Australia of the communications base for the US Users Objective System, a new satellite communications system being deployed by the US Navy.
The upcoming Balikatan exercises in the Philippines will involve some 4,000 US troops as well as forces from other ASEAN countries and representatives of Japan’s SDF. The exercise will focus on Palawan which is near the disputed area of the South China Sea.
Bayan Philippines calls on members of the ILPS to hold protest and solidarity actions/issue statements on APRIL 16, 2012 which is the start of the two-week military exercises in the Philippines. We are calling for coordinated actions by anti-bases groups in the region as part of a sustained campaign against US military realignment/rebalancing in Asia.
Resolution proposed by BAYAN Philippines
Approved by the International Coordinating Committee
of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle
March 11, 2012