Philippines’ reversal on troops, patrols could upend US-China strategy

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  An MK 45 5-inch lightweight gun is fired from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile-destroyer USS Stethem in the South China Sea on July 26, 2016, during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, an annual maritime exercises involving assets from the U.S. military and nine partner nations to include Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. John Pearl/U.S. Navy
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An MK 45 5-inch lightweight gun is fired from the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile-destroyer USS Stethem in the South China Sea on July 26, 2016, during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, an annual maritime exercises involving assets from the U.S. military and nine partner nations to include Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. John Pearl/U.S. Navy

Philippines’ reversal on troops, patrols could upend US-China strategy

by: Seth Robson | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: September 15, 2016
 America’s strategy for confronting China in the South China Sea is threatening to unravel as the new leader of a key frontline state backs away from military cooperation — including joint naval patrols — with the U.S.
 
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said this week he wants U.S. special operators to leave Mindanao island, where they are assisting in the fight against Islamist extremists.
 
The next day, Duterte said he won’t allow the Philippine navy to conduct joint patrols with foreign powers near the South China Sea, apparently scrapping an agreement his predecessor reached with the U.S. before he took office in June.
 
“The Obama administration’s containment strategy against China is falling apart as front-line countries like the Philippines change gear, creating a cascade effect,” Richard Heydarian, a security analyst De La Salle University in Manila, said in a phone interview last week.
 
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