Don’t Look Now, But The US Has Boots On The Ground In The Philippines

By Darius Shahtahmasebi

U.S. special forces are now assisting the Philippines’ military to quash an ISIS-inspired movement in the Pacific nation as government forces are struggling to make significant headway against the militants.

From the Manila Times:

Philippine troops are struggling to defeat hundreds of fighters, who rampaged through Marawi on May 23 flying black flags of the Islamic State group, and have used bomb-proof tunnels, anti-tank weapons and civilians as human shields to fortify their positions.

In the latest round of fighting, 13 Filipino marines were killed during heavy door-to-door combat on Friday.

The losses have “not diminished our resolve a bit,” Col. Edgard Arevalo said, according to the Associated Press. “It instead primed up our determination to continue our prudent advances to neutralize the enemy, save the innocent lives trapped in the fight, and set the conditions for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi.”

The U.S. special forces are currently offering assistance “pertaining to exercises, training, technical assistance,” another Philippine military spokesman said earlier this week. Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera added that the U.S. special forces currently there are not directly engaged in the fighting.

According to Reuters, direct U.S. participation in combat is against Philippine law, though the Pentagon has had around 50 to 100 special forces troops stationed in the south of the country conducting rotational exercises for years. The Pentagon said it was providing Philippine forces with security assistance and training in the areas of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Without giving further details, it also said it has an additional 300 to 500 troops in the country to support regular training and activities.

Reuters also reported that an anonymous official said this support included aerial surveillance and targeting, electronic eavesdropping, communications assistance, and training. As we saw in Libya in 2011, this manner of assistance is integral to any offensive conducted by allied forces. American troops do not need to be directly involved in combat in order for the U.S. to decisively influence the outcome on the battlefield if they are already providing assistance with surveillance and intelligence.

Renewed American involvement in the Philippines is hardly surprising given that U.S. special forces have assisted the country against militant groups numerous times since 2001. According to the RAND Corporation:

U.S. forces carry out a wide range of enabling and advisory activities on or near the battlefield, which can include direct support to combat or combat advising in accordance with rules of engagement established by U.S. policy and host-nation agreement, as well as civil affairs and information operations.

The U.S. has also just supplied its Filipino counterpart with an array of weapons and equipment, including “300 M4 carbines, 200 Glock 21 pistols, 4 M134D Gatling-style machine guns, and 100 M203 grenade launchers delivered May 18-22 to Clark Air Base.”

Though Duterte seemed intent on establishing a new course for his country by aligning with Russia and China — inviting the CIA to assassinate him in the process — ISIS-inspired groups within his country may prove that shaking off the Pentagon may, in fact, be a lot harder than he first hoped. It would appear that the U.S. has no plans to leave the region anytime soon and is most likely just getting warmed up in its renewed military presence in the Asian-Pacific country.

Unsurprisingly, Duterte said he wasn’t even aware that the U.S. was assisting in his country’s battle with Islamist militants. He also made it clear that he had not requested U.S. military assistance. As Reuters explained, it is still unclear if the U.S. went over his head or not, something they are apt at doing in most countries around the world.

As Anti-Media previously reported, the group currently battling the U.S.-backed Philippine forces are an Islamist group known as Maute, composed of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) guerrillas. MILF fighters only exist because of a longstanding separatist movement that had the aim of establishing an independent Islamic state for the Filipino Muslim minority. This minority has had centuries of clashes with the Spanish, American, and Filipino governments that have long sought to oppress them. Unsurprisingly, developments toward reaching a peace agreement were derailed partly because Manila is not prepared to concede outright to the militants’ demands.

And yet, this problem was actively warned about in the years prior to these events unfolding right now. According to RAND, the MILF posed a problem due to the following factors:

Lack of a contingency plan in case the peace process fails, and no policy guidance after signing the CAB [Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro] to address potentially contentious issues. Recommendations include maintaining strong adherence to the peace process and developing a contingency plan in case the peace process fails.[emphasis added]

It seems like peace could have been achieved a long time ago. If only peace were truly in the interests of those running the show, Philippines may not have had to endure such a conflict.

Creative Commons / Anti-Media / Report a typo

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7 Comments on "Don’t Look Now, But The US Has Boots On The Ground In The Philippines"

  1. Bizarro world where synthetic ISIS terrorism is launched in the Philippines, where no such organic or copy cat act of terror would ever develop naturally. All of it done as a pretext to drive Duterte into the same dictator role assumed by Erdogan, Teresa May, el-Sisi on his way, Xi as core leader, Australia heading into totalitarian rule, the US, Canada, rest of Europe on the same Rothschild NWO train to digital serfdom. We need miracle to get out of this mess.

    • There is a global mafia and the US is one of the major Dons. Their paid henchmen (isis, or whatever new name is used) is sent in to 1) send a clear message to the resisting people. Capitulate or we send in the hounds. 2) Sets up the problem reaction solution for them to get their way and look like the good guy. problem is that many are falling for it.
      A people deserve any regime they endure.
      It’s a test. If we are cowardly enough to put up with all this corruption then we deserve exactly what we get. If we stand up and start saying NO and fighting back like healthy and sane people we can begin to change things. Only problem is most have been conditioned to take the cowards way out but still want justice and equality like it will magically happen. We will get out of this exactly what we put in.

      • I agree. I still hope for amazing luck, Divine intervention, entropy, a mass epiphany, and megalomania hubris backfiring and unwinding TPTB’s grip on power – whatever source or combination.

        Human consciousness has been suppressed for a very long time, methodically so for many generations, and the ruling elite know psychology extremely well constantly exploiting our weaknesses. The growing imbalance is great and the last thing they want is for us to openly share information and learn from each other outside of their control grid. The universe / Mother Nature / the Divine will have its say over the affairs of men and megalomaniacs. IMHO, those of us here in these forums represent what can be in a sane world.

  2. It has been suggested that Duterte has no control of his troops nor his police officers. I intend to agree with those statements because DU30 has repeatedly disclosed his displeasure with any/all US involvement in the Philippines. I am afraid the terrorist war is out of his hands. He can not control it. Not good.

    • These terrorists are well trained and well armed to be able to resist government forces which are meant to be well trained and well armed. Some one is supporting these terrorists in a big way like they were able to overcome the Iraqi forces to take Mosul and also in Syria with Raqqa that government forces have a real fight on their hands. These guys are not some raghead with a Kalashnikov rifle.

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