U.S. Set to Deploy Troops to Philippines in Rebalancing Act
The deal comes as the Southeast Asian country is locked in a territorial dispute with ChinaBy Trefor Moss, WSJ
March 20, 2016 5:39 a.m. ET
MANILA—U.S. forces will soon have access to five Philippine military bases, some strategically positioned on the disputed South China Sea, as the treaty allies forge ahead with plans to station American troops in the Southeast Asian country for the first time in 25 years.
The Philippine embassy in Washington, D.C. announced on Friday after two days of high-level talks that four Philippine air bases and one army camp will be opened up to the U.S. military under the terms of a defense pact signed in 2014 designed to enhance the U.S.-Philippines alliance.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will visit Manila in April to finalize the details of the coming deployments, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Amy Searight said at the talks in Washington.
The agreement to send U.S. troops back to the Philippines—a former U.S. colony that once hosted some of the largest American bases in the world—is a key element of the Obama administration’s strategy of rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region. New U.S. military deployments to Australia and Singapore are already under way as part of that plan.