CNN — The Philippines will provide the United States with expanded access to its military bases, the two countries said Thursday, providing US forces with a greater strategic footing on the southeastern edge of the South China Sea close to self-ruled Taiwan. The newly announced deal will give the US access to four more locations under an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) dating to 2014, allowing the US to rotate troops to a total of nine bases throughout the Philippines.
In November, US Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Philippines to discuss expanded US base access with the recently elected President Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr. Some experts said her visit sent an unambiguous message to Beijing that the Philippines is moving closer to the US, reversing the trend under the previous president, Rodrigo Duterte.
Washington and Manila are bound by a mutual defense treaty signed in 1951 that remains in force, making it the oldest bilateral treaty alliance in the region for the United States. In addition to the expansion of the EDCA, the US is helping the Philippines modernize its military and has included it as a pilot country in a maritime domain awareness initiative. The two countries also recently agreed to hold more than 500 activities together throughout the year.
Earlier this month, the Philippines announced that 16,000 Philippine and US troops would take part in the annual Balikatan exercise, which is set to take place from April 24 to April 27. That exercise will include “a live fire exercise to test the newly acquired weapons system of the United States and the Philippines,” an announcement from the state-run Philippine News Agency said.
Comment: Looks like we’re coming full circle in the Philippines. That’s going to tie a knot in Xi’s tail. I remember my days there with Task Force Cacti embarked on the USS Cleveland, riding out a typhoon, conducting amphibious landings in the monsoon, trading C-rations for chicken adobo, Olongapo and Angeles City. Those were interesting times.
Our battalion XO was held up by guerillas/bandits on the white knuckle express between Subic and Clark. I witnessed a shoot out in the streets between Philippine Constabularies and those guerillas. A Philippine combat patrol gave my mortar section target coordinates while we were conducting a live fire. There was no differentiation between firing range and training area. And the Philippine Army’s idea of blanks was to fire live rounds into the dirt. Interesting times, indeed. There will be more interesting times ahead.
I suspect that the PhillipineGov sees Chinese intentions for the China Sea the same way I see them. But since I am just a lay amateur observer, that is just my intuitive impression.
And my suspicion is this: the ChinaGov’s primary reason for “claiming” the whole China Sea and everything it touches is to conduct a total and absolute rolling sack and pillage of the sea and its waters and its bed for every possible valuable thing which can be pried or blasted loose and taken back to China. They plan to strip mine every last fish out of the sea and pump all the oil and gas out from under it. Then they plan to strip mine it for minerals if they can figure out how to do that.
When China has stripped the very last fish out of the sea, and the very last barrel of oil and puff of gas out from under it, and has turned the whole China Sea into an open-water dumpsite/ trash-heap ruin, then the ChinaGov won’t be so interested in “sovereignty” over it any more. When there is absolutely nothing left in the China Sea except salty water, then the West’s ” freedom of navigation” will hardly bother China at all.
And when China has made all of Phillipines’s reefs and islets utterly worthless and not even worth having, then China will give them back. ” So long, and thanks for all the fish.”
That is what the PhillipinesGov thinks an American presence can somehow prevent.
Maybe our Navy can surface 3 Ohio Class subs in the area to buttress this Philippine deal. I won’t mention that infernal balloon floating over our northern states.
Five hundred and fifty years ago Chinese admiral Zeng-He took a fleet of treasure ships around the world. There was no Portugal, Spain, or USA; the Philippeans was a dung heap, in Japan the Shogun ruled, western Europe still was feudal and the Mongols were pulling out of eastern Europe. China was the most technically, medically, and culturally advanced civilization in the world. No one “knows” why they turned inward, but the result was the scientific revolution, exploration, mercantilism, capitalism, and the industrial revolution went to Europe. China was left b/h and by 1850 entered 100 years of humiliation. Today its no more going to the Chinese for your laundry, chow mein, silk fabric and kites. Now a days China produces for the world and wants control of the seas back. She wants all the world precious commodities, oil, and gas to drive her factories and employee her 1.7 billion people. Without a serious alliance of India to Korea to America the nations who share the Pacific will again be forced to perform the Kow Tow and prostrate themselves b/f the Chinese. It has taken the Chinese over 500 years to rtn to their hegemony of the world. She will not go back to being a “rick-shaw boy”. There will be a very big war – Armeggedon – or the rest of the world will “KOW TOW”!!!
Lot of truth in that Bill. But they have come back as communists with one man now thinking he is their god. China’s nature is to turn inward in times of turmoil. Theirs is coming.
BR, the Intercept has a investment suggestion for you, your family or your childeren, increase your money tenfold.
Copied, not a fan of screaming capitalizations:
WHITE HOUSE-LINKED VENTURE CAPITAL FUND BOASTS CHINA WAR WOULD BE GREAT FOR BUSINESS
I understand of course you are only worried about the people of the region.
Since war requires much money spent on war equipment (note I d/n write war goods since war is not good) it usually also increases employment etc. Available economic measurements, left to us by Simon Kuznets, would show an economy grows during war, not that war is not good for society. Employment is high but production goes to war (not bread and butter) so inflation can result. This is what happened to the U.S. when Johnson paid for his ill considered “War on Poverty” plus Viet Nam. Capitalist are interested in using wealth to create more wealth. While that is a good thing using war to do it is a fiendish misapplication. America learned under Johnson, it can bite an economy in the ass.
The voyages of Zeng spanned but his lifetime, and were ended with his passing. He was a one of the favored eunuchs of the court and they damn near ran Mings at the time. This very brief phase of expansionism included a short and painful invasion of Vietnam, which ended with unceasing guerilla war in just a couple decades making the Mings decide it wasn’t worth it. They had constant big trouble with those pesky horse-peoples to deal with (per usual) a PITA that they never really shook.
They turned internal because the world they “discovered” a world without anything they wanted but didn’t already have. They were so far ahead of what they found it was ridiculous. Zheng’s larger ships could’ve almost hoisted DeGama’s aboard and used it for a dinghy. “Leave the trading to the Arabs, it’s beneath the dignity of us warrior/philosophers anyway!”
The voyages were exploratory in nature, and stopped after just three trips because they found nothing worth the effort. Africa had nothing they wanted, and that’s as far as they got. Some debate as to whether or not they ever rounded Cape of Good Hope, but if they did, they didn’t go far up the east coast at all. Some trade opportunities were discovered in India, and some private Chinese entrepreneurs did some business there, but the Ming court had nothing to do with that. This would make DeGama’s first voyage a fiasco, as the Indians, used to obtaining silks and fine crafts from China, thought everything DeGama had brought from Europe worthless garbage, worth nary a peppercorn. Had to return with a fleet and force them to trade at gun-point.
Thanks for the add’l info. I’ve read that Zeng-He’s third voyage made it to Nova Scotia … “the evidence reveals that” etc etc. Who knows. In those years 1350-1550 (?) the Chinese really were rulers of the world and they weren’t shitting around when they thundered out “KOW-TOW” Here’s my opinion. The communist party is still Chinese and the Chinese have not forgotten their century of disgrace. It will only be expunged when the world accords them respect and awe. India, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Taiwan, S. Korea, Philippines and Japan will have to decide if they are willing to bang their heads on the floor. You know I could eat Chinese 2 -3 times a week. I’ll be ok.
Don’t mention the Chinese – Solomon Islands deal from last year or Secretary of State Blinken’s great achievement in his first diplomatic meeting with the Chinese in Alaska the year before.
Beijing has been establishing deals with a number of Pacific countries over the last two decades. The Solomons deal is strategically important for China, but we left there in 1993 and haven’t paid them any attention since then. We’ve obviously been too busy with the Middle East and SWA all that time. It’s a good thing we reestablished military relations with the Philippines. The only thing that came out of Blinken’s Alaska meeting was that both sides told the other to pound sand up their respective asses.
Beijing has been all over Africa for at least twenty years and will most likely establish a naval base in Equatorial Guinea. A permanent Chinese military base in the Atlantic would be of greater strategic importance than the Solomons.
As I recently remarked, the Chinese, since Zeng-He, have long traded with Africa along the Indian Ocean coast but the possibility of a Chinese naval base on the Atlantic side is disturbing. Over the past ten or so years there have been stories of Chinese attempts to gain a naval base in the Mediterranean. The Chinese would give much to Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, or Egypt for such a base. Can one imagine a Chinese naval presence in the Med? Since the Europeans w/rather spend their money on socialism vs navies it is quite possible. It is necessary to maintain good relations w/N.A. states to deprive the Chinese a such a base. Some may not understand the purpose of statecraft.
I take it you do not think we have a strategic interest nor allies in that region of the Pacific. Alaska is where Blinken showed himself to be a fool.
We’ve strengthened our relationships with several allies and friends in the Pacific in the last couple of years. South Korea, Japan, Australia and now the Philippines to name some. Our military doctrine has evolved to primarily address the threat in the Pacific. I don’t know how you come to the conclusion that none of this matters to me. Any why do you think Blinken made a fool of himself in Alaska. Both sides did the dozens for a couple of days, gave nothing and took nothing other than a better idea of where each other stood. What did you expect to happen at their first meeting?
Does that infernal balloon remind you of U2s. U2s were used for spying, this “infernal balloon” is a lost weather balloon.
The Chinese say it’s a weather balloon. We’ll find out when we shoot it down once it crosses the east coast. That is unless the Chinese have a self-destruct mechanism on the balloon. We should at least be monitoring any signals from the balloon even if encrypted. No matter what it is, it’s some weird shit.
No launch signatures from balloons.
More serious than the infamous cold war missile gap was the ladder gap which existed and has been maintained to this day. So secret that you’ve never heard it mentioned, even if you are a military intelligence officer or work for one of the three letter agencies. (It was the ladder gap, by the way, which is thought by those of us in the know to have been the real motivation for Nixon’s visit to China). Now that I’ve mentioned it you’ve likely figured it out. Briefly – the People’s Republic of China greatly outnumber us here in the United States. Greatly. And – critically important – as every schoolchild knows, China is located on the other side of the world. So – what if the entire population of the PRC was ordered to climb atop 4 foot high ladders or footstools and at a given command simultaneously jump? What defense would we have? With a population of 335 million and an equal number of ladders — none. They number 1.4 billion. There is, of course, the question of materials for construction of ladders, training, synchronization of jumpers and a number of ancillary considerations which are unadvisable to discuss in detail here.
I remember hearing that theory decades ago.
guerillas/bandits on the white knuckle express
TTG, accidential encounter? I am wondering about guerillas/bandits. Simply whatever type of anti-American no matter if Islamist or Maoist force?
These were the Maoist New Peoples Army fighting against the Ferdinand Marcos government and later against the Corazon Aquino government as well. They were quite active across the Philippines in the late 1970s. Our XO was in civilian attire and looked more like Idi Amin than a typical American soldier. He may not have been recognized as American. We often referred to him affectionately as Big Dada. They only took money from passengers on the bus so they may have been just run of the mill bandits.
Thanks, TTG. Appreciate. Hmm, admittedly I missed one feature. Now I understand.
Now instead of driving to the area inside the US this would have fallen on, like BFE Montana, we can sail a submarine out to Ice Station Zebra and have the DSV go down and find that crap. Having been on such ops I can tell you that is one hell of a lot harder to do. Congrats to President Biden and General Milley for his wonderful advice.
The wreckage landed in 73 feet of water within US territorial waters. It won’t be hard to collect.
It reminded me of Sputnik which was, of course, the first Communist spy satellite. It was contemporaneous with the American U2 spy plane. Spys were/are everywhere.
Interesting. And here I was all along thinking they wanted better control of those marine regions because the US Navy, with judicious use of choke points – straits – could if they so preferred, turn the PRC back to the stoneage in short order because China is a huge industrial economy which must by necessity import vast tonnages of diverse resources including fossil fuels which are not realistically available except via the seas and oceans of the wide world. Shame on me for not understanding that they are possessed by an inexplicable, uncurable and treatment resistant obsession and compulsion to pollute and deprive the people of the earth of omega-3 oils and vitamin D3. Makes sense. I know this now because now that I think about it – why the chopsticks, and why the take-out food? You don’t have to throw away stainless steel forks, nor proper crockery. It’s simple – they are pollution fetishists and are so possessed within it’s demonic clawing grasp that they will fight the USA super-duper power.
Apparently China has everyone looking up at their balloon(s). I hope some in the Pentagon are looking down about ground level instead.
Use to be quite a few Filipinos serving in the US Navy back in the day. Assumed it was some Navy program. One I recall was a cook on the Lincoln always saying, “What’s your pucking froblem”. It became quite a popular phrase in our squadron.
If That Ballon Was Russian…It would have not Even Crossed into Alaska…But Since
Its Requiring Serious Deal Making..And Negations because It Looks like
Giant Chinese Popcorn…or a Shiny Diamond in the Sky…Its Left Alone for
Lets Make aDeal…
Take it Down..Recover Data….?? Nope…This Generations Howard Hughs
Was Aborted…Full Term…
Watching the TV Replays of the Shoot Down of the Balloon for awhile…looked Like The
Shot Went Through The Bottom of the Balloon Right at the Data Package Tether…
And The Data Package Seperated And Dropped..With The Solar Panels Blown off and Glittering in a Debris Drop…May Be nothing to Recover..
OK, so the military shot down this balloon off the coast of South Carolina.
Why the hell didn’t they send it into the drink while it was being tracked along the Alutian chain?
The balloon wreckage is in 73 feet of water. It will probably be recovered and analyzed in a matter of days if not hours. Why not shoot it down over the Aleutians? I suspected it was hacked days ago and monitored. At a minimum it was probably not allowed to call home. US officials, unidentified as usual, had this to say.
“US officials say they were able to block the balloon from gathering intel during its overflight of the US, while the US military was able to turn the tables, so to speak, to gather intel on the balloon itself and its equipment.”
Good point about how we had probably hacked into it;s systems shortly after it was spotted.
If we had deep sixed it anywhere along the Alutian chain it would be gone forever. I spent a lot of time out there, totally unforgiving seas.
There is more to this story than we know and we only know what those in DC have said…WH or Pentagon or pols taking their usual places in the argument. I suspect all that do know are happy to let this play that way and by Monday morning it will all die down. We the people have been lied to and deceived so much post 9-11 that I trust little coming out of DC, at least through the first couple of story lines..
The US allowed this to transit the entire continental landmass of the Republic. This showed the contempt China has for the US, and this administration in particular.
Apparently, China has been showing this contempt for years according to a DoD press secretary and former Trump officials.
” still leaves open the possibility that other adversary aircraft ”
as the article states? I wonder why the DOD failed to tell the president that. Wouldn’t that be criminal deriliction of duty? Kind of like that DOJ lawyer fabricating evidence for the FISA court?
Good question. Why did the DoD treat those instances like handing a loaded gun to a chimpanzee? Why wouldn’t the DoD at least inform Trump after the fact? What did they fear Trump would do? Did they fear he would go far beyond shooting it down? Would Trump have initiated a shooting war or even a nuclear war over a Chinese spy balloon?
The proper question is who in the DOD is lying to the press now to make Biden look better? “Anonmyous” the book writer who turned out to be full of it; Vindman and the phone call; The “wistleblower” Justice Roberts refused to allow the Senate to call out by name? The list goes on and on.
“What did they fear Trump would do? ” Who elected those people to supervise the President? Where in the Constitution they swore to uphold do they derive their Just powers? I will not ask to which of these Praetorian Guards do we solicit to get our rights back, but I will ask why you support them?
Jim Ticehurst –
I thought we had destroyed the sensors&comms payload the balloon was carrying, but not the balloon itself. Did that not happen?
Well…Apparently We Have Deprogrammed these SkySpies All Along..By
Firing a” Splatter Fly” at Them..And Fed Them FrogaBlog in a Processor That then
Reprogram These Chinese Systems…So that All their Command And Control
Centers..And Weapon systems…Will All Be Directed At North Korea..Instead of
Taiwan…And Japan…And They Will Get The Gold Finger Treatment..
Commander Joe is in Control…At Lilly Pad Central…Master of Disguises..
It was the namesake of Luke Air Force Base come back to life that did in Xi’s balloon.
The Arizona Balloon Buster:
Leith…So much History We Learn After the Fact…Life Really is all Clowns..
Balloons and Partys ( Of Choice)…Your Balloon Buster Made a Major News Network This Morning…Good Pick….(Smiley Face)
I think y’all might badly want to view this vid of Robert M. Gates (former Sec of Defense, CIA director, NSA advisor etc) being interviewed by David Ignatius of the Washingmachine Poached.
Robert M. Gates on Ukraine, International Relations ..
-Opening manifesto cosigned with Condaleesa Rice; focus on very rapid burst to take advantage now prior to Russia getting better prepared with men & equipment.
– Especially! – Minute 15 or 14.5 and onward where he, to my way of understanding it, has essentially declared in answer to Ignatius that the policy going forward is to hit inside of Russia on the areas bordering Donbas so as to degrade logistics, support etc. I think this is a formulation of policy because of who it is (and deniable by President) and mainly because he proceeds, if you watch till the end, to propose deals for Putin to save face, sell it to his people, and notably say that breaking up the RF is undesirable. He emphasizes that Ru has been grievously weakened for a generation, and that breaking up a giant continental country with huge nuclear arsenal is too much.
It sounds like an entire package. Tell me when you run out of tomatoes so I can run to the corner for a tall cold one.
Not a bad interview. Gates didn’t say anything that surprised me. I do strongly agree with him on not seeking to get rid of Putin or cause the collapse and disintegration of Russia. It’s much like me not wanting to get rid of the royals in Riyadh. I have no use for them, but what comes after them could be a lot worse. But if both or either of them are dramatically weakened, I won’t lose any sleep over it.
Does this deal let Bong Bong’s momma Imelda off the hook for the lawsuit damages she owes in Hawaii?
Shore leave in Olongapo! San Miguel beer, 100-year old balut eggs, lumpia rolls, great music, 3-mile platoon formation runs thru jungle trails, sightseeing Malinta Tunnel and Fort Santiago, falling in love with teenage senoritas. What’s not to love about the place? The Sh!t River Bridge maybe, but I’ve seen worse stateside.
Balut: tell the truth, did you eat the lill feathers?? Then there was that alcohol that tasted like kerosene. Somebody told me about it.
One of my soldiers took a bite of one of those eggs handed to him by a villager. I thought he was going to die once he took a good look at the half-eaten egg. We all, including the villagers, had a good laugh at his expense. I had two Filipinos in my platoon so we hardly needed our assigned PC.
I remember Olongapo and everything that went with it very well. And the pretty girls in beautiful dresses standing in their little boats at the sh*t river bridge catching coins from the drunken sailors as they crossed. One night I saw a sailor throw a rock at one of the girls trying to knock her into the river. Three Filipino policemen grabbed his ass and took him somewhere. The SPs made no effort to intervene. The drunken son of a bitch deserved whatever he got.
The San Miguel had a unique aftertaste that left an oddly dull kind of mild hangover. We decided it was a kind of a formaldehyde taste.
We spent a short week at a jungle survival school run by Negritos prior to our amphibious exercise. Amazing what those little fellas can teach you. After the exercise, my platoon was put up in a flooded quonset hut in the upper MAU camp. Two to three inch snails were crawling on the walls and racks. It was only fitting. Aboard the USS Cleveland, the platoon’s was below the waterline and flooded with two feet of seawater. It had to be pumped out before they could enter. I can still hear the PA system “First wave, mount the hogs.”
Bill – Sounds like you got one of those extended incubation baluts. Those suckers not only had your li’l feathers but even had a crunchy li’l duck beak. 60 years later I still get a shiver of guilt every time I see a mallard.
TTG – San Miguel had that homebrew taste. And considering it usually had those sediment floaties in the bottom of the bottle, perhaps it was made locally in an Olongapo hootch.
fermented and rebottled by enterprising with
Right. There I was, summer of ’84 in Manila and some Philippino friends dared me to try Balut. What was a red blooded American to do? Sure, give me 2! I did it w/a smile. Awful stuff. Another of my “friends” offered me some time w/h “sister. I declined. Different culture, no harm no foul (except the Balut).
All eggs are embryos at a different developing stages. And balut is cooked food (compare it to Japanese sushi, which one is grosser?). And balut is an aphrodisiac. Close your eyes and enjoy it. Your SWMBO will ask you to eat more 🙂
The so called NEWS is alight with stories of Chinese balloons zipping back and forth across our skies now. Even one crash landing off Hawaii.
And of course many flying around during Trump’s years with nary a word.
I can believe some of that. Trunp had many enemies in the upper ranks of the military and the DOD who may very well have witheld such information from him.
The media hated him so much that even if they had a wiff of such stuff would say nothing because it had the name Trump associated with it.
Will we ever know the truth? I doubt it, the deep state is too dark and murky and filled with too many secrets.
Are they reporting on what released/fell off the now downed balloon when it was over Montana?
The media were/are socialist propagandists so it is not surprising that they hated Trump. There once was a time that you could get a liberal opinion from the NYT and conservative opinion from the WSJ. Dems and Reps argued over ways but not over fidelity to America. Those days are gone. Democrats don’t realize it but their party was taken over by anti American socialists about 20 years ago. We are at war, just no shooting (yet). The issues are not as “trivial” as abortion or drugs. The issues are the first amendment individual liberty. The left has never been fond of individual liberty. They were not in 1788 and they are not today.
JM, “Will we ever knew the truth?”
Not if wearing a Trump conspiracy tin foil hat. Very dangerous to wear with sparks flying off!
Tin foil hats can be removed. Can spike proteins?
That balloon was meant to be seen. Among other things, it was a probing and a trolling to observe our response.
And the ChinaGov threats and insults are themselves a kind of probing and trolling, to observe our response to them.
We also did not spend the weekend talking about which Democrats took the most money from SBF, or the contents of Hunter’s laptop being true, or all the classified documents available at multiple Biden owned or controlled locations, or the FBI agent who was arrested for the real “Russia Collusion”.
I Think China is and has been Preparing for War…They Have Been Using These Balloons to Experiment With First Strike Capabilitys..Like Showing Them Carrying a Payload of
Hypersonic Missles in 2016 …This Mission Appeared to Be all Intel Gathering..With
Flights over Pre Programmed Military Installations…From Alaska…Into Canada..
(that Purpose and What Facilitys Undetermined…) The Balloon had Motors and Guidance Systems..
Then Down into The United States
At NW Idaho..Right Over TheThe Fairchild AFB..Spokane…Former SAC…Now Mostly
All Air Refueling….Data Gathering…The Pentagon Told All Commands on The Ground Not to Transmit Any Data…
Down across Idaho They Gathered Data from Mountain Home AFB..Home to the
366th Fighter Wing and the Singapore Air Force Fighter Squad..from the Singapore Armed Forces…It is a Detachment of F-15SG Combat Aircraft..
Then Across Any Other Known or Unknown Bases Gathering Data/Inte;l/Images into
Montana, continued out South and East into South Carolina..Charleston.. and
Out..Did We Prevent Trsnsmission of its Data Gathered Material..
Dont Know…BUT..Transmission of Data Has taken Quantum Leaps from Burst
Transmissions..There is Data out there..China Launched a Quantum Communications Sattelite in 2016 thats Impossible to Hack…
They Talk War..They Prep War..They Want War..Its That Time..
They Grow ..and Grow,,,All The Geo/Global Pieces Are on the Table..A Puzzle
to Put Together,,,To Me…All else We See…Like Hunter and a Chinese Vette,,
Are The Distraction….We Owe our Children Better Leadership and Security..
As I think about one ( among other) purposes of the ChinaGov balloon float over America being to mock and troll us, I wonder how sensitive the ChinaGov CommuNazi authorities are to being mocked and trolled in return. Including at the image level.
Here is a picture of the classic trollface. https://pluspng.com/editor/
I wonder if someone with digital image manipulation skills could take the official photograph of Xi Jin-Ping and change its features to exactly match the classic trollface while otherwise still being exactly the face of Xi Jin-Ping. In other words, Xi Jin-Ping’s portrait in Troll Face. And maybe have a Xi Jin-Ping trollface figure holding a bunch of white balloons.
If the ChinaGov CommuNazis saw this image cropping up all over everywhere, would they be upset and humiliated and “suitably trolled”?
( It turns out that the link I offered to the classic trollface looked to me like a live link but when I click it as published, it only shows a faceless click-trap. That link itself was a piece of trollery. How appropriate, I suppose.
I will try again with this other link and hope it really works. If it doesn’t, people can find it on line by typing . . . troll face image . . . and see it themselves.
And then imagine Xi Jin-Ping’s face digitally altered to look exactly like it, but still exactly Xi Jin-Ping’s face. )