Philippines vows stronger military to back South China Sea claim | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Philippines vows stronger military to back South China Sea claim

Philippine President Benigno Aquino vowed on Monday to leave behind a stronger and a more capable armed forces to face maritime challenges in the South China Sea when he leaves office next year.

Aquino, ineligible to run for re-election under the constitution, promised to spend about 83.90 billion pesos ($1.77 billion) in a five-year period until 2017 to strengthen the military as China asserts its claims to most of the waters.

The spending plan was only approved this year, meaning the bulk of that money will be spent in coming months.

China has overlapping claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei in the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines has challenged Beijing before the arbitration court in The Hague, a case Beijing has not recognized.

Aquino said his government has already spent 56.79 billion pesos since 2010, acquiring a squadron of light fighters from South Korea and combat helicopters from Italy. Washington has transferred two former coast guard cutters and transport planes to the Philippines.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So now, the US government is signing off on the Philippines playing picador against China?!?

And of course, great assurances have been uttered that the US will defend the Philippines at any and all costs?!?

Considering how horrifically botched Obama's present and past military misadventures have gone, and the degree to which he has left our military vulnerable, I am very nervous about his starting yet another military flustercluck against China.

And when I make that statement about leaving our military vulnerable, let me explain.

As much as I detest war, as a Christian pacifist, when our military personnel are engaged in combat, I want them to have the finest, most functional equipment with them at every step of the way.

For China and Russia, there is an implicit understanding between these governments and their weapons producers that when weapons are deployed in the field, they work precisely as, or better than, advertised.

With the US and its large weapons manufacturers, it is not that way at all. Weapons companies fund election cycles very lavishly, as the Clinton campaign managers will surely admit.

Unfortunately, when US-made weapons are deployed, our military has utterly no guarantee that these weapons, planes, or ships, will work as advertised.

Many times they are defective; not well conceived, horrifically over budget, and horribly behind schedule.

IF the US government is seriously looking at going to war with China, using the Philippines' claim to the South China Sea as the "bait" here, I would like to politely suggest that they cure this problem first, before looking at a head-on military collision with China.

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