While up to date there has been no change between the relationship between the U.S and the Philippines there is always room for the unexpected. Especially after the Philippines President has made certain claims. President Rodrigo Duterte said that they have been interested in allying themselves more with Russia and China.
The commander of the U.S. forces, Adm. Harry Harris has reassured that there has been no change in the way the two countries have been conducting business. In fact the two countries plan on participating in live fire drills.
Philippine and US Military Drills
In the special forces drills that will be going on, it is expected that nearly 40 Filipino troops will participate. No figure has been given as to how many American soldiers will be participating though.
Duterte has said that he wants to discontinue these assault drills. This came after he was insulted by the US’s criticism of his anti-drug campaign. The dismissal of relations doesn’t seem like an option though for the country. US special forces are spending resources to educate the Philippines on counter-terrorism measures. These will hopefully work to bring some peace to the country’s southern region.
The previous administration in the Philippines had made plans to enhance the defensive cooperation between the two countries. These plans are still being held up by the new administration despite what the new president has said.
More will be learned next week though as to how relations will continue to be handled. At that time Harris is set to meet with the chief of staff of the Philippine’s armed forces. They will be discussing any plans for future military exercises.