In a report published on the Inquirer.net, it was revealed that there have recently been some “high-level visits” by United States officials to meet with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Olongapo officials. It seems that possible delays in a massive relocation of US military facilities from Okinawa in Japan to the US territory of Guam have put the Philippines back on the map of options for the US government.
Back in 2006, the US and Japan entered into an agreement to transfer 8,000 Marines (and 9,000 of their dependents) stationed in Okinawa to a new facility in Guam by 2014 as part of a military “realignment” plan to improve the US’s deterrence capability over a broader scope of the Asia-Pacific region.
The plan includes significant financial contribution from the Japanese government in the relocation effort some of which will go into the upgrade of infrastructure in Guam to accomodate the expected increase in population there. It seems though that even with this support, the shortfall in Guam’s infrastructure may result in the 2014 relocation target not being achieved…
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With the expected increase in population, Guam needs to boost its infrastructure. The U.S. Defense Department has acknowledged that the transfer of the Marines to the Pacific island could be delayed beyond the current target of 2014 because of a shortage of water, sewage and electric power facilities on the U.S. territory.
Specifically, Japan will invest the 37 billion yen allotted to Guam projects in the state-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and JBIC will lend the funds to local electricity and water companies on Guam.
Complications arising from budget cuts to the US military implemented by the US Congress and politics in Japan including the impact of the recent mega-earthquake that hit Japan this year have contributed to the delay.
According to the Inquirer.net report, US Senators Daniel Inouye and Thad Cochran who respectively chair and officiate the US Senate appropriations committee “appeared to be interested in the possibility of an increased presence of the US military in the country” and “were curious about the reception in the country of an [increased presence of the US military]” there.
How receptive would Filipinos be to a return to their country of a sizeable US military force?
Discounting the old-hat noisy rhetoric of self-described “activists” coming from the Philippine Left, I’d put my money on the majority of Filipinos rushing out to meet their former colonial masters with open arms.
The Philippines of the 21st Century is a far far cry from the pompous and cocky persona it exhibited back in the early 1990’s when twelve bozos duly elected by the popular vote (and as such presumably representing the Filipino people’s “will”) voted to boot the American Military out of Philippine shores…
Thanks to the 12 bozos who voted against US military bases in the Philippines in 1991 — Senate President Jovito Salonga, Sens. Wigberto Tanada, Teofisto Guingona, Rene Saguisag, Victor Ziga, Sotero Laurel, Ernesto Maceda, Agapito Aquino, Juan Ponce Enrile, Joseph Estrada, Orlando Mercado, and Aquilino Pimentel — Filipinos have, right in their faces today, a sad lesson twenty years in the making in what it is like to languish outside the American sphere of what is globally relevant.
The Philippines today is a humbled nation run by a wannabe-humble. It sees attracting foreign capital as its biggest “priority” because it utterly lacks any semblance of domestic capability to create and expand capital owing to a pathetic predisposition to squandering its indigenous wealth. This sad aspiration coupled with a bizarre culturally- and religiously-wired mindset to multiply like cockroaches pretty much dooms the Philippines to a future of abject sub-mediocrity.
Add to that a renewed but toothless focus to “defend” the disputed Spratly Islands against a stonewalling mega-power like China and what we see today is an opportunity that this sad nation can ill-afford to ignore.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.