Trump brushes off Duterte's decision to end military pact

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  • #267959

    Judi Lynn
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    @judilynn

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced the termination of the military agreement on Tuesday.

    5 hours ago

    US President Donald Trump on Wednesday brushed aside the decision of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to end a decades-old military agreement with the United States, saying he did not really mind and it would save money.

    Duterte announced the termination of the two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) on Tuesday, a move US Defense Secretary Mark Esper called “unfortunate”. The decision will take effect in 180 days.

    Asked whether he would try to persuade Duterte to reconsider, Trump told reporters at the White House: “Well I never minded that very much, to be honest. We helped the Philippines very much. We helped them defeat ISIS … I don’t really mind if they would like to do that, it will save a lot of money. My views are different from others.”

    . . .

    Duterte’s decision, sparked by the revocation of a US visa held by a former police chief who led his bloody war on drugs, could complicate US military interests in the Asia-Pacific region as China’s ambitions rise.

    More:
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/trump-brushes-duterte-decision-military-pact-200212204927062.html

  • #268698

    soryang
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    • Total Posts: 345
    @soryang

    Clearly, Trump is an idiot. He thinks he’s doing some strategic bluffing here. But the absence of an agreement would make US service members subject to Philippine law such as it is. As a practical matter it would make deployments there impractical. Other interesting ramifications are the relative effects on the bargaining positions of the US and it’s allies Japan, and South Korea. I would correct the article’s implication that the problem in South Korea is US troop presence. That isn’t the issue, it is the US ridiculous demands for a four hundred percent increase in cost sharing, associated with US interference in the internal politics of South Korea. Objection to US troop presence is a major problem in Japan, and as long as Trump is in office, upcoming demands for increased cost sharing will be an issue as well. The fact of the matter is, that deterioration in the US military position in the Philippines will enhance Japan’s bargaining position. Bargaining over cost sharing is going on currently with South Korea. For the Philippines to walk away from a military agreement with US, makes the US bargaining position with Japan and Korea weaker. Therefore, Trump pretends it isn’t of any serious concern to him.

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