Joint military exercises to strengthen US stranglehold in Asia-Pacific amid severe crises — CPP

By CPP Information BureauImage

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said that in forging ahead with Balikatan joint military exercises in the Philippines, US imperialism aims to further strengthen its military position in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region amid the severe crises besetting the US and its puppet regime.

At least two thousand American troops have been participating since yesterday in two weeks of joint military exercises with Philippine soldiers at the former Clark Air Base and other parts of the country. The American troops belong to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force and Essex Expeditionary Strike Group under the US Pacific Command.

The CPP denounced the series of Balikatan exercises as "a continuing outright violation of national sovereignty, as armed foreign troops are allowed to freely operate, and even engage in combat as well as intelligence and other military operations in Philippine territory." The CPP likewise condemned the puppet Arroyo government "for allowing the US to use the revival of its military bases in the Philippine to exert overlordship in the Asia-Pacific region."

In its statement, the CPP said that criticism against the Balikatan exercises have become more acute "as these exercises continue to be held in brazen contempt for the heightened concerns raised by various patriotic sectors over the permanent presence of US troops in the Philippines and their numerous involvements in military operations against armed groups in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country."

"The CPP said further that the US is vainly trying to 'make up' for the exposure of its part in the messed-up peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and, following that, its involvement in massive military operations against the MILF forces and Moro communities.

"American military presence in the Philippines is bound to become more pervasive and intrusive as US imperialism seeks to assert and maintain its proprietary hold on the country as a neocolony and forward base in the face of the worsening economic crisis presently rocking the US economy and the global capitalist system, and the threat of even worse consequences for the backward, neocolonial Philippine economy."

"As the global capitalist system sinks deeper into recession, and as it did after the Great Depression struck, the US will be desperately relying more on increased military presence and might to buttress its dominant position in its sphere and globally. The desperation of US military adventurism is becoming more blatant consequent to its mounting failures in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The CPP urged the Filipino people "to raise high the banner of patriotism and revolution and heighten their struggle against US military intervention in the Philippines."