Defense of the Republic of the Philippines

General Discussion => General Discussion => Topic started by: adroth on November 25, 2016, 09:48:23 AM

Title: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on November 25, 2016, 09:48:23 AM
Administrator's note: Here are related discussions

Implementing an independent foreign policy (http://defenseph.net/drp/index.php?topic=2654.0)

Rebooting US-PH communications (http://defenseph.net/drp/index.php?topic=408.0)

====


(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/relations.png)

====

Rodrigo Duterte Plays U.S. and China Off Each Other, in Echo of Cold War
The Interpreter

By MAX FISHER NOV. 3, 2016

From: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/04/world/asia/philippines-duterte-us-china-cold-war.html?_r=0

< Edited >

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines traveled to Beijing recently, promising to announce his country’s “separation” from the United States and alarming the White House and his own defense secretary.

But something different happened. Instead, Mr. Duterte kept the alliance with the United States intact, appeared to reach an understanding with China to allow Filipino fishermen to return to disputed waters, and, by threatening a geopolitical realignment, distracted from American objections to his country’s growing human rights abuses.

Rather than switch allegiances between the two nations, Mr. Duterte managed to play them off each other, in that way improving his position with both and cementing his image at home as a strong nationalist unbeholden to foreign powers. And he did it while keeping his nation’s security guaranteed by a 65-year-old treaty with the United States.

Whether he knows it or not, Mr. Duterte is following a strategy that leaders used throughout the Cold War: balancing between the powers by threatening to change loyalties. That strategy’s track record illuminates why Mr. Duterte’s seemingly reckless actions have borne him such fruit, and may offer a hint of his goals.

< Edited >

Mr. Duterte’s actions call to mind, for example, Josip Broz Tito, the Communist leader of Yugoslavia who broke with Moscow in the Cold War’s first years by declaring himself “nonaligned.” The United States rewarded him with economic aid; the Soviet Union, desperate to keep Tito from joining NATO, rewarded him with autonomy and shows of respect.

In the end, Tito won concessions from both sides, enhanced his image at home — and remained in the Communist fold. Rather than becoming a victim of the Cold War, he exploited it to his advantage.

< Edited >

Other Cold War leaders pitted the superpowers against each other as a means to win independence from them and extract concessions along the way. Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt took handouts from both sides, for instance, and relied on them to eject a 1956 invasion by British, French and Israeli troops.

< Edited >

Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, whose authoritarian government has long been tied to Moscow, occasionally hints at a Myanmar-style opening to the West. In response, the European Union will grant him some concessions, Russia will offer him energy subsidies, and, in the end, nothing will change.

Great powers, it turns out, have little choice but to endure these small humiliations. Moscow probably sees Mr. Lukashenko’s game, but it cannot tolerate even the possibility of losing him to the European Union.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on November 25, 2016, 11:07:44 AM
Responses on the companion thread on the forum's FB extension

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1136890086396837/

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/weak_nation.jpg)

Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on November 27, 2016, 02:39:50 AM
This exchange was from the "What the PH brings to the table" thread.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1137786869640492/?comment_id=1138135766272269&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/weak_nation-regis.jpg)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on December 30, 2016, 08:09:12 AM
Even Israel is improving relations with China and Russia. Do we hear a similar outcry from US as what we see with the Philippines?

Netanyahu defends tightening relations with China and Russia

DECEMBER 11, 2016, 6:30 PM| Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims new alliances with U.S. adversaries are based on trade and are equivalent to U.S. relations with China and Russia

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/netanyahu-defends-tightening-relations-with-china-and-russia/
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on January 07, 2017, 12:49:50 AM
Despite Russia's statements to the contrary . . . the game is being played

Duterte hopes Russia will become Philippines' ally and protector

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-russia-duterte-idUSKBN14Q0Z0

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday that he hoped Moscow, a rival of the Philippine's traditional ally the United States, would become his country's ally and protector as he toured one of the two Russian warships on a four-day visit to Manila.

Duterte's remarks came a day after Russia's ambassador said his country was ready to supply the Philippines with sophisticated weapons and aims to become its close friend.

< Edited >

====

Contrast this with Russia's own statement

Russia not seeking military alliance with PHL — envoy
Published November 29, 2016 12:54pm
By ERWIN COLCOL, GMA News

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev on Tuesday assured that his country is ready to be a reliable friend and partner of the Philippines but noted that it is not seeking to establish a military alliance with any country within the Asia-Pacific region.

"We are open for cooperation with all responsible members of the international community, including the Philippines," Khovaev said in a forum in Quezon City on Tuesday.

"[But] we are not talking about alliance.... We are talking about partnership and friendship. Russia has no military alliance in the Asia-Pacific region. We are not going to create any military alliance," he added.

< Edited >

However, he said Russia does not want to meddle with the issue on the disputed territories in the South China Sea.

"Russia does not take sides in [South] China Sea [issue]. It must be solved in compliance with international law," Khovaev said.

< Edited >

- See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/590567/news/nation/russia-not-seeking-military-alliance-with-phl-envoy#sthash.9lrE0VTl.dpuf
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on January 12, 2017, 11:15:09 AM
Tillerson avoids condemning Philippines dictator Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs as a human rights violation
3:33 p.m. ET
 
Secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson hesitated to call the Philippines a human rights violator when asked for his opinion Wednesday at his Senate confirmation hearing. When pressed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the former ExxonMobil executive insisted he would need more information before he could assess whether the brutal crackdown on drugs led by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that has killed thousands could classify as a human rights abuse.

Rubio responded by pointing out that Tillerson actually already has access to the information, given that it was published in an article in the Los Angeles Times and that Duterte was quoted for the piece. Tillerson stuck to his defense, claiming he could not "rely solely on media reports." However, he did note that he knows the Philippines is a U.S. ally, and "we need to make sure they stay an ally."

< Edited >

http://theweek.com/speedreads/672682/tillerson-avoids-condemning-philippines-dictator-rodrigo-dutertes-war-drugs-human-rights-violation

Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on January 19, 2017, 07:04:17 AM
After this

Tokyo matches Beijing’s $9-B grant
By Christina Mendez
Philippine Star13 January, 2017

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/tokyo-matches-beijing-9-b-000000179.html

As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wrapped up his two-day visit in the country yesterday, President Duterte’s economic managers were upbeat about the administration’s unprecedented feat in three months after Tokyo matched Beijing’s $9-billion grant to the Philippines.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez are elated about the outcome of Duterte’s accomplishments for the grant and investments portfolio in the country.

“I think that PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) has raised the highest amount in ODA (official development assistance) in Philippine history – about $9 billion each from China and Japan. This is the biggest I think in history,” Dominguez said.

Lopez, in a separate message, shared the same view as he pointed out that the country gained $18 billion in only three months from Beijing and Tokyo.

Duterte has been in office for about six months.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said the Japan aid package is significant in the wake of the US-led Millennium Challenge Corp.  decision to suspend its grant to the country.

< Edited >

. . . this

Top Chinese official to meet Philippines' Duterte

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-philippines-china-idUKKBN1510G9

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte will meet on Tuesday with China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, the most high-profile Chinese visitor since he took power last year and launched surprise moves to engage with historic rival Beijing.

Duterte will meet Liu late in the day in what presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said was nothing more than a courtesy call.

Liu was meeting foreign ministry counterparts to discuss the "substantive issues of our bilateral arrangements," Abella said in a text message.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on April 17, 2017, 09:29:32 AM
Duterte says occupation in islands to only assert maritime rights
APRIL 11, 2017 LEAVE A COMMENT
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte assured China that his order for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to occupy the nine islands in the South China Sea has no intention of provoking them but merely asserting its maritime rights to its exclusive properties.

“China can relax, we are friends. We will not go to war with you. We are just trying to maintain the balance of geopolitical situation there,” Duterte said during his departure speech before leaving for his official visits in the Middle East. (READ MORE)

http://specials.sunstar.com.ph/thepresident/2017/04/11/duterte-says-occupation-in-islands-to-only-assert-maritime-rights/

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on April 22, 2017, 04:47:21 AM
Slowly but slowly . . . the pieces are falling into place. The sequencing, and pacing, of the timing is excruciating.

PH-Russia defense cooperation will be in the form of training: Esperon
Published April 21, 2017, 6:54 PM
By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/04/21/ph-russia-defense-cooperation-will-be-in-the-form-of-training-esperon/

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Friday (April 21) said that the defense cooperation between the Philippines and Russia would be in the form of training.

Esperon, in an interview after the President’s visit to the Russian guarded missile cruiser Varyag, said details about the said cooperation will be finalized during President Duterte’s visit to Moscow next month.

President Rodrigo Duterte visits the Russian warship vessel Varyag at Pier 15 in Manila on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Credits: Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)
President Rodrigo Duterte visits the Russian warship vessel Varyag at Pier 15 in Manila on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Credits: Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)

“Defense cooperation would come in the form of training. Probably some exchange of information,” he said.

< Edited >

According to Esperon, Duterte visited the said ship, which is docked in Port Area, Manila, as a sign of good will after the President received an invitation.

“The visit of the president is also a show of good will no more, no less. It’s also our time to extend an invitation for them to come again. Which he did,” he said.

< Edited >


=====

Russian overtures continue . . .

From: https://www.facebook.com/CNNPhilippines/posts/1914731552100068

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2-2.jpg)



From: http://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/04/21/17/watch-russian-navy-officials-do-duterte-pose

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/3-2.jpg)
[/quote]


. . . arrangements with the US resume more openly. Only the dense would have really assumed that this had really changed in any meaningful way.

Talking about "making a statement"

FF15 deployed to Pagasa Island for SND Lorenzana's visit

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ff15.png)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on April 22, 2017, 01:06:01 PM
(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/playoff.png)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on April 23, 2017, 02:39:54 AM
While the article implies a contrast in approaches . . .

. . . is it a true contrast of styles, or simply a matter of a delay action?

From balancing to appeasing China: The tales of two presidents
Thinking Beyond Politics
Renato Cruz De Castro

http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Opinion&title=from-balancing-to-appeasing-china-the-tales-of-two-presidents&id=142951

Posted on March 29, 2017

Prior to leaving for his visit to Myanmar on March 19, President Duterte entertained questions from journalists, who asked about China’s reported plan to build an environmental monitoring station on Scarborough Shoal. President Duterte emphatically admitted he could not stop the plans, saying “We cannot stop China from doing (these) things.” Instead, he turned the table on the journalists by asking, “What do you want me to do? Declare war against China? I can’t. We will lose all our military and policemen tomorrow and we (will be) destroyed as a nation.”

President Duterte offered a possible solution to the crisis: “Just keep (the waters) open and do not interfere with our (Philippine) coast guard.” He also dismissed concerns about China’s activities near Benham Rise, despite Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s warnings of Chinese survey ships loitering in the location for month-long periods.

The President appears determined to appease China as it expands its control of the South China Sea. A policy of appeasement involves efforts by a leader of a smaller state to conciliate or “buy off” an expansionist power by making unilateral diplomatic and strategic concessions.

Former President Aquino took a different approach, actively challenging China’s expansion despite its overwhelmingly economic and strategic capabilities. He did this by building up the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) territorial defense capabilities. Why the change in behavior? A significant factor behind the Aquino administration’s efforts, despite the country’s military inadequacies, was the country’s alliance with the United States.

HARNESSING AMERICA’S ALLIANCES
The Aquino administration was aware that no amount of financial resources would enable the Philippines to face an assertive China in the South China Sea. The buildup of the AFP’s territorial defense capabilities was designed for limited deterrence and asymmetric combat, but not for naval warfare. Thus, the military buildup merely complemented the deterrence provided by US forward deployment and bilateral alliances in East Asia. The Aquino administration’s policy of challenging China’s expansion was predicated upon the US’ asserting its position as the dominant naval power in the Pacific area.

< Edited >
Title: The 3-way link-up that just keeps on giving for Duterte
Post by: adroth on May 11, 2017, 04:16:07 AM
The 3-way link-up that just keeps on giving for Duterte
Raul Dancel
Philippines Correspondent

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/the-3-way-link-up-that-just-keeps-on-giving-for-duterte

< Edited >

A LITTLE GIVE-AND-TAKE

So, is Mr Duterte kowtowing to China?
A handout photo made available by the Presidential Photographers Division shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a tour of a Chinese naval ship in Davao City, southern Philippines. He gave three Chinese warships the red-carpet treatment inA handout photo made available by the Presidential Photographers Division shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a tour of a Chinese naval ship in Davao City, southern Philippines. He gave three Chinese warships the red-carpet treatment in his home town - an honour he has not bestowed on any other navy, not even Russia's. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Not really. He has taken from China, even as he gives. He has won concessions that Beijing would never have agreed to under his predecessor, Mr Benigno Aquino, who initiated the arbitration case that struck down China's South China Sea claims and plunged Philippine-Chinese ties to historic lows.

After about five years, Filipino fishermen are back at Scarborough Shoal, a contested atoll in the South China Sea. They are no longer being chased away with water cannon, bullhorns and guns by China's coast guard. They are now exchanging cigarettes and fish, instead of angry words, with the Chinese.

In a few weeks, the Philippine military will begin long-delayed construction works on Thitu. Navy engineers will soon be repaving the island's derelict runway, and building a new harbour, fish port and barracks there. China had, till now, been harassing supply runs to Thitu and the Philippines' other outposts in the South China Sea.

Mr Duterte, meanwhile, walked home with more than US$24 billion (S$33.7 billion) in investments and grants after his October state visit to China. He can expect to secure more for his ambitious US$100 billion infrastructure programme from the Obor summit.
THE MIDDLE GROUND

So, what do we make of Mr Duterte?

He is just being consistent. He thinks the Philippines has drifted too much towards the US, and a correction is long overdue. He wants to bring his nation closer to the centre, equidistant from Beijing and Washington.

Look closely, and you will see that while he has been very accommodating towards China, there has not been any fundamental shift in US-Philippine relations. He may have called America a "nation of hypocrites" and former president Barack Obama a "son of a bitch", and complained about the presence of American troops on Philippine soil, but he has not upended decades-long defence arrangements between the Philippines and the US.

This is why Washington is not losing any sleep over Mr Duterte. Not yet, at least. At the end of the day, it still holds all the cards, not China. It has a "mutual defence treaty", a "visiting forces agreement", and a defence agreement that allow it to station troops in the Philippines and have access to staging areas.

Not even Mr Duterte can unravel those arrangements, without risking a costly squabble with the Senate, where his hold is tenuous, or provoking a population that is still largely pro-American.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on May 13, 2017, 05:34:29 AM
Is Rodrigo Duterte Really Anti-American?

The Philippine president’s actions prove that this label is far too simplistic.
By Mong Palatino
May 13, 2017

http://thediplomat.com/2017/05/is-rodrigo-duterte-really-anti-american/
 
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has a reputation of being a staunch critic of the United States government. However, it is probably more accurate to describe him as being critical of former U.S. President Barack Obama but not of current President Donald Trump.

A few months after becoming president in 2016, Duterte launched a series of tirades against Obama whose government expressed concern about the Philippines’ bloody war on drugs. Duterte insisted that the United States has no moral high ground to speak about human rights since it has yet to apologize for the crimes it committed during its colonial occupation of the Philippines.

Duterte was the first Filipino leader to speak so publicly and fiercely about the violence used by the U.S. government in subjugating the Filipino nation in 1899. Because of this, Duterte was praised by nationalists and his allies from the left.

< Edited >

Duterte’s anti-America rhetoric was so persuasive that it made him the poster child of many groups which want the United States to be accountable for its “meddling” in the affairs of sovereign nations. Indeed, Duterte continues to enjoy this reputation, despite the fact that he has actually already toned down his statements against the United States. He also has continually praised Trump and even emphasized that both of them are controversial politicians who won against all odds.

< Edited >

While it is true that Duterte has established closer links with China and Russia, this in fact has yet to translate into the abandonment of the country’s political, economic, military, and cultural ties with the United States. Duterte’s actions and pronouncements in recent months have proved that it is far too simplistic to dismiss him as an anti-American leader.

Duterte had enough time, public support, and the numbers in Congress in the past ten months to cancel all military and political agreements that perpetuate the “unequal relationship” between the United States and the Philippines if he wanted to. But aside from honoring these military agreements, Duterte seems ready to improve his relationship with the Trump government.

Is Duterte pro-China or anti-America? What we learned in the past few months is that Duterte’s mindset cannot be ascertained by his rants but by his actions and the policies implemented by his subordinates.

What is clear is that he succeeded in recalibrating the country’s foreign policy. For his supporters, this is an achievement that reflects Duterte’s vision of an independent foreign policy. His critics, however, is disappointed about the disruption it caused on how the country should assert its claims in the South China Sea.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on May 29, 2017, 01:37:13 PM
Rodrigo Duterte Is Key to China's 'Post-American' Vision for Asia
“Dutertenomics” will require huge investment from abroad. Beijing is the perfect patron.
Richard Javad Heydarian
May 24, 2017

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/rodrigo-duterte-key-chinas-post-american-vision-asia-20825

“The future of the Philippines is in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and in Asia,” declared Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte during his early May keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. For the controversial Philippine president, the world is ineludibly entering a post-American world, paving the way for his own vision of an “Asia for Asians.” Despite facing stiff opposition at home, the firebrand leader has forged ahead with his pivot to the east, especially China and, to a lesser degree, Russia. There are two factors that lie at the heart of Duterte’s “Looking East” foreign-policy strategy. First is his growing personal vexation with the West’s criticism of his brutal campaign against illegal drugs, which will likely be followed by sanctions and other punitive measures. Second is the need to diversify the Philippines’ highly concentrated (in the West and Japan) strategic and economic relations.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on June 24, 2017, 05:20:46 AM
Contrary to nay-sayer's fears about Duterte's verbiage, unconventional statements aren't enough to undo 71 years of history.

Time to watch who ups the ante.

Is China fear of ISIS attacks on its own western borders keeping it away internal Philippine affairs?

===

China supports PHL’s fight against Maute, other Islamists in Marawi
Published June 12, 2017 5:49pm

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/614176/china-supports-phl-s-fight-against-maute-other-islamists-in-marawi/story/

China supports the Philippine government's "anti-terrorism" operations against Islamist militants in Marawi City, the Chinese foreign ministry said Monday, days after it was reported that US special forces provided support to Filipino troops.

On Saturday, the US Embassy in Manila said special forces were assisting the Philippine military with ongoing operations in Marawi City, which insurgents belonging to the Maute group and aided by foreign militants, laid siege on May 23.

But Philippine authorities said the assistance was limited to "technical support."

"Terrorism is the common enemy of mankind. China understands and firmly supports (Philippine President Rodrigo) Duterte's leadership and its government in fighting terrorism," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular press briefing.

"We support these antiterrorism operations," he said.

< Edited >

JUSMAG "speaks" . . . in kind.

http://defenseph.net/drp/index.php?topic=1852.0

From the forum's FB extension

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1334581496627694/

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/18951055_968657693236876_8882498553865095791_n.jpg)


====

AFP gets new weapons from US
By Michael Punongbayan and Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 6, 2017 - 12:00am

http://thediplomat.com/2017/06/us-terror-aid-to-philippines-signals-enduring-defense-ties-under-duterte/

< Edited >

Officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) turned over the weapons and equipment delivered recently under the US government’s Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program.

U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Reaffirms Commitment to Philippines, Strong Defense Ties with Philippine Leaders
Home | News & Events | U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Reaffirms Commitment to Philippines, Strong Defense Ties with Philippine Leaders

https://ph.usembassy.gov/us-pacific-fleet-commander-reaffirms-commitment-to-philippines/

Manila, June 14, 2017 — Adm. Scott Swift, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, visited the Republic of the Philippines June 11-14 to reaffirm the U.S. Navy’s strong partnership and ties with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

During his visit to the Philippines, Swift met with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano, Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, and Philippine Navy Flag Officer in-Command Vice Adm. Ronald J.S. Mercado. Swift stressed the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s commitment to addressing shared regional security concerns including counterterrorism and piracy, while highlighting the strong defense ties between the U.S. and the Philippines.

“The Philippine Navy is a valued and enduring ally of the U.S. Navy and a close partner of the Pacific Fleet,” said Swift. “I’m very pleased to have had the opportunity to visit with senior government and military leaders here in Manila. We continue to build on the strong relationship we have and to reaffirm our commitment to working together to face shared challenges.”

The long-standing alliance between the Philippines and the United States has contributed to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 70 years. As part of the security partnership, the United States supports the Philippines in its efforts to strengthen national defense, and improve its ability to respond to natural disasters, terror threats, piracy, and other transnational crimes.

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cayetano.png)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on July 01, 2017, 09:32:00 AM
China's reply to JUSMAG's contributions

Duterte receives P370-M worth of firearms, ammo from China
By: Nestor Corrales - Reporter / @NCorralesINQINQUIRER.net / 08:41 PM June 28, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte checks the scope of a riffle sniper, an ,7.62mm,CS/LR4A, given by China as part of Beijing assistance grant to the Philippines during a turnover ceremony at the hangar of Clark Air Base in Mabalacat Pampanga while Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua looks on . INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

The Philippine government on Wednesday received P370 million worth of arms and ammunition from China.

President Rodrigo Duterte received the donations during a turnover ceremony at Clark Airbase in Pampanga. Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua represented the Chinese government.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said arms and ammunition amounted to 50 million yuan or more than P370 million.

< Edited >

Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/158500/duterte-receives-p370-m-worth-firearms-ammo-china#ixzz4lXTB5oMd
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

===

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/20170628jb-3.jpg)

President Rodrigo Duterte checks the scope of a riffle sniper, an ,7.62mm,CS/LR4A, given by China as part of Beijing assistance grant to the Philippines during a turnover ceremony at the hangar of Clark Air Base in Mabalacat Pampanga while Chinese ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua looks on . INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on July 05, 2017, 12:54:26 AM
Makes me wonder what China or Russia's reply will be to this

One of the best shots yet. Posted on the forum's FB extension

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1365456486873528/

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/19657001_10209408557712932_2917760958528718716_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on July 08, 2017, 02:51:15 AM
Superpower competition isn't just about military hardware

US, China ready to assist Marawi rehab
By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated July 6, 2017 - 4:05pm

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/07/06/1717008/us-china-ready-assist-marawi-rehab

MANILA, Philippines — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has expressed its readiness to provide assistance for the rehabilitation efforts for war-torn Marawi City, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.

Earlier this week, Ambassador Sung Kim met with President Rodrigo Duterte to express the US government's full support for the Philippine government's operations in Marawi.

"For the rehabilitation, ang sabi ng ambassador ng United States the USAID is ready to help us whatever we need kaya nandyan 'yung... USAID representative sa US Embassy and they are ready to help us in any way they can pero limited 'yun sa kanilang mandate nila what kind of help they can give us," Lorenzana said in a televised press briefing.

Beijing has also offered its assistance for the rehabilitation of Marawi, Lorenzana added.

"Meron nang offer 'yung China na tutulong sa rehabilitation ng Marawi... In fact, the ambassador already has pledged P5 million for the rehabilitation of Marawi," the secretary said.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on July 10, 2017, 06:13:18 AM
"Playing great powers" doesn't just apply to the superpowers. Regional powers have a role to play as well . . . and we've just been sent overtures by a significant regional player with as much case to dislike China as we do. Don't like the "Silk Road"? Then "Act East"

India has a long history of non-alignment with external powers. It's how it managed to buy equipment from the Soviet Union, while still keeping the door open with the West.

Not unlike what Duterte professes to espouse.

But with China challenging Indian sovereignty as well . . .

. . . an opportunity for getting another seat on our table may be afoot.

See below

China vs India: regional rivals (http://defenseph.net/drp/index.php?topic=72.0)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jj5Axr8fF8

Chinese Army trying to enter India, the Indian Army pushes them right back
Published on Jun 26, 2017

===

India to invite heads of 10 Asean nations for Republic Day celebrations
Sachin Parashar | TNN | Updated: Jul 8, 2017, 02.39 PM IST

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-to-invite-heads-of-10-asean-nations-for-republic-day-celebtations/articleshow/59497883.cms?utm_source=toimobile&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_campaign=referral

NEW DELHI: In perhaps the most significant exposition of its 'Act East' policy, India will invite the heads of state or government of all 10 Asean nations for the Republic Day parade and celebrations next year. Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and has as members Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Republic Day 2018 will be the first time ever that so many leaders will together be chief guests at the parade which showcases India's military might.

Since it renamed 'Look East' as 'Act East' in 2014, the NDA government has sought a more "dynamic" and "action-oriented" approach in its relations with not just Asean, but also the wider Asia-Pacific, with emphasis on Japan. However, Asean continues to be the central pillar of 'Act East', and the special summit next year in January is expected to further underscore the point.

< Edited >

===

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/maxresdefault.jpg)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on August 06, 2017, 04:34:50 AM
PH should treat 'superpower China' like US, Russia, says ex-envoy
Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Aug 03 2017 10:01 AM

http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/08/03/17/ph-should-treat-superpower-china-like-us-russia-says-ex-envoy

MANILA - The Philippines should start thinking of ways on how to get the best out of its relationship with China, a former ambassador said Thursday.
Speaking to ANC, former ambassador Jose Apolinario Lozada Jr. said the Philippines should accept that, like the US and Russia, China is a superpower.
"We have to look at how we can get the best we can from China in consideration of its status as a superpower. We have to treat China in the same manner we treat the US, Russia," he said.

This is also the reason, he said, why the Philippines needs to be careful in the wording of the framework of the code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, which is set to be formally endorsed this weekend.

"We have to be very, very careful that the COC is not going to dwell into specific issues because we have to leave that to future meetings," he said.
Hague ruling an 'integral' factor in S.China Sea code: analyst

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: LionFlyer on August 06, 2017, 08:12:37 AM
Off-topic though related to this.

Singapore has been gripped by this topic recently, where a Chinese-American academic in one of our top policy research institution was accused of working with foreign intelligence agents to influence Singapore's foreign policy by offering "privilege information". The backdrop to this was also a very open spat a while back between two senior figures in foreign policy here (the Dean of LKYSPP, Kishore Mahbubani and Bilahari Kausikan, ambassador-at-large and former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affair) over whether small states should just toe the line to great powers and ride the waves or continue to be resolute but agile / flexible.

Who he was working for is a matter of speculation but most rumors put it as China. It will be interesting to see if would be investigated by the US.

https://www.mha.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/Pages/Cancellation-of-Singapore-Permanent-Residence-Status-Huang-Jing-and-Yang-Xiuping.aspx
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2105475/chinese-professor-and-his-wife-be-expelled-singapore
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/05/world/asia/singapore-huang-jing.html
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on August 06, 2017, 08:59:47 AM
Off-topic though related to this.

Singapore has been gripped by this topic recently, where a Chinese-American academic in one of our top policy research institution was accused of working with foreign intelligence agents to influence Singapore's foreign policy by offering "privilege information". The backdrop to this was also a very open spat a while back between two senior figures in foreign policy here (the Dean of LKYSPP, Kishore Mahbubani and Bilahari Kausikan, ambassador-at-large and former permanent secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affair) over whether small states should just toe the line to great powers and ride the waves or continue to be resolute but agile / flexible.

Who he was working for is a matter of speculation but most rumors put it as China. It will be interesting to see if would be investigated by the US.

https://www.mha.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/Pages/Cancellation-of-Singapore-Permanent-Residence-Status-Huang-Jing-and-Yang-Xiuping.aspx
http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2105475/chinese-professor-and-his-wife-be-expelled-singapore
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/05/world/asia/singapore-huang-jing.html

It would've been interesting to hear Lee Kwan Yu's thoughts on the matter given how deftly he straddled great-power relations.
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: LionFlyer on August 06, 2017, 10:57:50 AM
Continue to cultivate deep relationships with both major countries (China, US). The trick lies in making the both of them realize that this uniqueness outweighs trying to swing Singapore one way or the other.
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: LionFlyer on August 06, 2017, 11:19:02 AM
It would've been interesting to hear Lee Kwan Yu's thoughts on the matter given how deftly he straddled great-power relations.

The CIA tried to bribe him in the 60s and they got owned by him. We also expelled one of theirs(US First Secretary to Singapore) in 88 when they tried to mess in local politics.

Sometimes, these big powers need to be reminded how it works in Singapore.

http://www.upi.com/Archives/1988/05/12/Singapore-chagrinned-at-Washingtons-expulsion-of-diplomat/9073579412800/

(https://www.sammyboy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=20318&d=1427330551)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on August 06, 2017, 12:02:41 PM
At the end of the day . . . Singapore got past the incident, the US-SG relationship matured . . . and Singapore and the US are even stronger partners than before.

In contrast, Filipinos are aghast at there mere suggestion that PH-US relations be looked at in a different light.
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on August 08, 2017, 11:18:00 AM
Duterte tells US Secretary of State Tillerson: I am your humble friend
Published August 07, 2017 06:10:01 PM
Updated August 07, 2017 06:30:00 PM

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/620967/duterte-tells-us-secretary-of-state-tillerson-i-am-your-humble-friend/story/?amp

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday welcomed US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Malacañang.

“I am your humble friend in Southeast Asia,” Duterte told Tillerson in his opening statement.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on August 10, 2017, 05:18:53 PM
Tension remain

Don't tell us what to do, PH tells countries on sea dispute

'The problem of territorial disputes between China and the Philippines is between China and the Philippines,' says Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano

Paterno Esmaquel II
@paterno_ii
Published 10:20 PM, August 09, 2017
Updated 10:20 PM, August 09, 2017

http://www.rappler.com/nation/178267-philippines-us-japan-australia-statement-south-china-sea-ruling?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=nation

SEA ROW. Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano holds a press conference on August 8, 2017, that tackled a range of topics including the Philippines' dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines criticized the United States, Japan, and Australia for releasing a joint statement that urged both Manila and Beijing to heed a 2016 international ruling on the South China Sea.

"We expect nations not to tell us what to do," Cayetano said in a press conference on Tuesday, August 8.

< Edited >

Cayetano said: "Japan, Australia, and the US are our friends. The US is our treaty ally. But we have told all countries around the world: We are a sovereign nation. We will decide what is good for us, what strategy is good for us, because we are a sovereign nation."

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on October 03, 2017, 10:48:55 AM
Non-acceptance of the The President's plan does NOT change the FACT that it both exists, and it WORKS. Note that we've been saying this since last year.

From:

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/cayetano-tillerson.png)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on October 13, 2017, 10:18:42 AM
The United Kingdom gets with the program

'With humility': UK offers help in solving PH drug problem
Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Oct 09 2017 04:18 PM

http://news.abs-cbn.com/focus/10/09/17/with-humility-uk-offers-help-in-solving-ph-drug-problem

MANILA - The United Kingdom has offered to help Philippines in its quest to quell illegal drugs, its envoy to Manila said Monday, even as it earlier expressed serious concern over alleged extra-judicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-drug campaign.

"If there are any elements of the British experience in dealing with drugs would be relevant and essentially of use to the authorities in the Philippines, we stand ready to share that experience, but we do so with humility," Ambassador Daniel Pruce told ANC's Headstart.

Pruce said UK also has its own drug challenges but a great part of their approach had been to give the drug addicts "support and opportunity to overcome that addiction and rehabilitate themselves into society."

Part of their effort, he said, involved "using the legal framework and prosecuting people who are breaking the law in accordance with the law " and trying to "address some of the problems that drive people to taking drugs."

"There’s no single solution that works in every country. Every country’s situation is different, but particularly in the area of this comprehensive approach, a blended series of intervention, and also we have a great focus on rehabilitation. There’s something in our experience that would be helpful here in the Philippines, we stand ready to offer that support," he said.

< Edited >
Title: In The South China Sea, Duterte's Playing China Against America And Japan
Post by: adroth on November 05, 2017, 12:04:49 AM
In The South China Sea, Duterte's Playing China Against America And Japan -- Nicely
Panos Mourdoukoutas , CONTRIBUTOR
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
 
https://www.forbes.com/sites/panosmourdoukoutas/2017/11/03/in-the-south-china-sea-dutertes-playing-china-against-america-and-japan-nicely/#7f51f512fa2e

Philippines is at the center of the game for control of the South China Sea, a vast waterway with many riches beneath. And Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is playing this game well, with flip-flops that have major players like China, Japan, and America guessing which side he is on.

Meanwhile, each of the three players are racing to provide Duterte with all the “goodies” he needs.

America with military support against a local rebel insurgency. Japan with investments, and China with both investments and diplomatic support -- at the place he needs it the most, the UN.

While, Duterte has been very active on foreign policy, he has left domestic economic policy to the country’s central bank, which has engineered a stable macroeconomic environment of low inflation and low debt to GDP ratio.


The biggest beneficiary of Duterte's “hands on” foreign policy and “hand off” domestic policy, so far, has been the Philippines economy, which is the world’s 10th fastest growing economy in the world in 2017.

That’s according to the World Bank’s latest edition of Global Economic Prospects. For 2017, the Philippines economy is expected to advance between 6.5 to 7.5%. That’s almost twice the country’s long-term growth of 3.68%.

And that’s good news for the country’s financial markets, which have underperformed the markets of the region.

< Edited >

====

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/960x0.jpg)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on December 11, 2017, 03:32:01 PM
The thread shows our problem with China in a nutshell: they account for 24.5% of our exports, and 18.8% of our imports. More than any other country, including either Japan and the US. Europe barely registers in the official stats. The dragon has us by the balls . . . they know it . . . and aren't shy about pressing their advantage. The relative weakness of the AFP is only secondary to their holding our economy hostage. The challenge to our generation is not how fast we can buy Frigates, MRFs, or even missiles. It is how fast we can neutralize China's economic death grip. #fightsmart

====

From: https://psa.gov.ph/content/highlights-philippine-export-and-import-statistics-june-2017

7.  JAPAN ACCOUNTS FOR 18.5 PERCENT OF TOTAL EXPORTS IN JUNE 2017
Total export receipts from the country’s top ten market destinations for the month of June 2017 were valued at $4.13 billion or 84.2 percent share of the total (Table 6).

Japan, including Okinawa, ranked first, accounting for 18.5 percent of total exports, with export receipts valued at $909.17 million in June 2017. It recorded a decrease of 9.0 percent from $999.61 million in the same month of the previous year.

United States of America (USA), including Alaska and Hawaii, ranked second with revenue amounting to $697.75 million, comprising 14.2 percent share of the total exports for June 2017.  It decreased by 8.7 percent from $764.63 million recorded in June 2016.

Hong Kong ranked third with $667.50 million or 13.6 percent share of the total exports.  It grew by 12.6 percent from $592.67 million in the same month the previous year.

People’s Republic of China, with 10.9 percent share of total exports, ranked fourth with shipments valued at $535.62 million.  It went down by 2.4 percent from $548.53 million in the same month the previous year.

Singapore placed fifth, representing 6.1 percent share of total exports, with export earnings worth $299.52 million. It decreased by 7.1 percent from $322.56 million posted in June 2016.

Other top ten market destinations for   June 2017 were: Thailand, $214.32 million; Republic of Korea, $213.01 million; Germany, $206.80 million; Taiwan, $204.38 million; and Netherlands, $186.87 million.

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/export.png)

8.  IMPORTS FROM PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA ACCOUNT FOR 18.8 PERCENT
Total payments for the top ten imports for June 2017 amounted to $5.60 billion or 79.4 percent of the total.

People’s Republic of China remained the country’s biggest source of imports at 18.8 percent share in June 2017.  Payments were recorded at $1.33 billion, a decrease of 3.7 percent from $1.38 billion in June 2016.

Japan, including Okinawa came second, contributing 12.8 percent or $901.12 million to the total import bill in June 2017.  It grew by 0.5 percent from the June 2016 value of $896.88 million.   

Thailand placed third, accounting for 7.7 percent share of the total imports worth $545.24 million in   June   2017.   It went up by 0.1 percent from   $544.44  million in  June 2016.

Republic of Korea was the fourth biggest source of imports for June 2017 with 7.7 percent share of the total import bills amounting to $542.02 million, an increase of 16.0 percent from $467.36 million  in June 2016.

United States of America (USA), including Alaska and Hawaii ranked fifth, accounting for 7.3 percent share of the total import bills in June  2017.  It went down by 8.2 percent from $558.93 million in June 2016 to $513.27 million in June 2017.

Other   major sources of imports for the month of June 2017 were: Indonesia, $483.76 million; Singapore, $443.76 million; Taiwan, $339.77 million; Malaysia (includes Sabah and Sarawak), $282.74 million; and Hong Kong, $225.37 million.

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/import.png)

====

Meanwhile, for folks who pine for the days when the world was simply divided between the US and whatever counted as the US' adversary . . .

Congress passes short-term deal to stave off shutdown, setting up late-December spending fight
By Mike DeBonis December 7 at 9:45 PM

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/congress-set-to-delay-shutdown-setting-up-bigger-spending-fight-later/2017/12/07/6b6712fa-db51-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.e279cc899ade

Congress passed a short-term spending deal Thursday, sending to President Trump a bill to avert a partial government shutdown and setting up a heated budget fight later this month.

Trump has indicated that he will sign the deal, preventing a government stoppage that had been set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The deal does not resolve numerous debates over domestic spending, immigration and funding for the military that brought the government to the brink of partial closure, leaving party leaders with a new Dec. 22 deadline to keep the government open.

< Edited >

====

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/ThinkstockPhotos-79993533.jpg)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on January 28, 2018, 05:54:13 AM
The enemy of my enemy is my friend

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/1280px-Flag_of_India.svg_.png)

Jan 25 2018

Duterte says India a ‘rising superpower’ | ABS-CBN news (http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/01/25/18/duterte-says-india-a-rising-superpower)
Quote
Duterte is in India to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - India Commemorative Summit and India's Republic Day celebration, where he and fellow regional leaders were considered chief guests.

India’s invitation is widely seen as a charm offensive in the face of economic powerhouse China's diplomatic moves in Southeast Asia.

“Politically, the Philippine President described India as a 'rising superpower' that has a moderating effect in international relations,” Roque said in a news conference in New Delhi.

“The President emphasized the commonality between the Philippines and India and that is the pursuit of an independent foreign policy.”

Some analysts see India, the world’s largest democracy, as a counter to China’s military and economic might.

=====

Duterte: PH to consider acquiring arms from India | Inquirer (https://globalnation.inquirer.net/163647/duterte-philippines-india-modi-military-weapons-arms-bilateral-talks)
Quote
Upon arriving here for the India-Asean Commemorative Summit, the Philippine leader sat down with Modi for an hour to discuss economic and political ties between their countries and even the possibility of a military cooperation.

“There was a commitment, in fact, for the Philippines to purchase Indian military hardware,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told a press briefing here.

Asked afterward to elaborate, he said the issue came up when Modi broached his country’s capability in producing military weapons.

“The Prime Minister said they have expertise in ships and other military hardware, so President Duterte manifested that in the same way he has decided to purchase weapons from China and Russia, he will also consider purchasing Indian weapons,” Roque said.

The Malacañang official said Mr. Duterte also thanked India for its support in the rehabilitation of Marawi City, particularly a cash donation of $500,000 for the rebuilding effort.

The two leaders, at Mr. Duterte’s prompting, also talked of a possible military relationship between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to combat terrorism and piracy in the high seas, according to Roque.
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on January 30, 2018, 03:49:44 PM
Protection of Philippine interests requires an unvarnished look at both friends and foes alike

Asia under Trump: How the US is losing the region to China
By Ben Westcott, CNN

Updated 12:14 PM PHT Sun, January 28, 2018

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/01/28/asia-china-united-states-trump-xi.html

(CNN) — In just one year, U.S. President Donald Trump has changed the way Asia looks at the United States.

The cornerstones of American power in Asia, Japan, Australia, and South Korea, all lost a little faith in their longtime close ally and protector in 2017, according to Gallup polling.

No military assets have been withdrawn, no embassies closed, but the lack of interest expressed by a U.S. administration focused on "America First" has deeply shaken its status in the region.

"Nowadays when we attend international conferences (around Asia), nobody really talks about the United States anymore ... it's a little bit strange," Chisuke Masuo, associate professor at Kyushu University's Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, told CNN.

Uncertainty about America's commitment to the region has prompted local leaders to strengthen ties with each other, to prepare for the day when the US no longer has their backs.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: Invictus on February 02, 2018, 12:56:50 PM
AFP welcomes expansion of security ties with India (http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1023840)
By Priam Nepomuceno  February 2, 2018, 12:43 pm

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte's efforts to expand further ties with India, especially those dealing with security, is a "welcome development" saying it provides the Philippine military a "wider and broader cooperation" with other Asian counterparts, an official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Friday.

Quote
"Remember that this is not only India we have been having military-to-military engagements, we have had Pakistan in the past, we have had Russia, China, Brunei, Australia of course the United States of America"

Quote
The expansion of security ties with India is beneficial to the Philippines as the country's military can look at their training and equipment which can be acquired for AFP's use, Arevalo added.

He said a technical working group is now looking into possible Indian defense equipment which can be acquired for the AFP.
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on February 04, 2018, 05:04:23 PM
Even the Asean Maritime Transparency Institute is begrudgingly admitting that the administration's strategy is slowing China's advance.

Getting them feel what you want them to feel . . .

. . . while doing something else . . .

. . . is at the heart of statecraft

China squeezing every ounce of chance from PH on Scarborough issue–expert
By: Frances G. Mangosing - @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net / 07:25 PM February 02, 2018


China will hold off from building in the contested Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) until they have “extracted as much as they can” from the current administration, a maritime expert said Friday.

There’s a political decision that if China FEELS right now it is winning, why provoke crisis with the Duterte administration?” Greg Poling, director of Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, told reporters Friday.

Reports circulated last year that China was preparing to build an environmental monitoring station on Scarborough Shoal.

But President Rodrigo Duterte is holding on to a promise made by China last year that it will not build on Scarborough Shoal. Filipino fishermen were also allowed to fish in the shoal but with Chinese coast guard ships nearby.

“Last year, [Defense] Secretary [Delfin] Lorenzana said he expects the Chinese to eventually build something over Scarborough. I do, too. It’s a matter of when, not if. It’s a matter of what they built so maybe they won’t build another giant island….maybe it’s a small facility,” Poling said.

< Edited >


Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/163779/china-squeezing-every-ounce-of-chance-from-ph-on-scarborough-expert#ixzz567Ce5TOT
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

====

In the meantime . . . to the north of the Philippines . . .

https://thediplomat.com/2018/02/destroyer-visit-puts-japan-philippines-military-ties-in-the-spotlight/

Quote
Destroyer Visit Puts Japan-Philippines Military Ties in the Spotlight

Engagement caps an active week for bilateral defense relations.

By Prashanth Parameswaran
February 02, 2018

On Friday, a Japanese destroyer arrived in the Philippines as part of a goodwill visit. The interaction was another demonstration of the ties between the two countries in the maritime realm and part of an active week for bilateral defense ties.

As I have observed before in these pages, despite lingering uncertainties and some refocusing following the election of Duterte, Japan-Philippines defense ties have nonetheless continued strengthening in some areas of the maritime realm as part of their broader partnership.

That comes as no surprise. Japan has been looking to strengthen ties with Southeast Asian states, including defense ties. Meanwhile, the Philippine military, including the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy, need all the help they can get from allies and partners like the United States, Japan, and Australia. The Philippines has limited capability to cover over 7,000 islands with a tenth of the world’s coastline amid a series of challenges ranging from the South China Sea to terrorism.

Japan’s assistance to the Philippines includes several lines of effort, from capacity-building to training to defense equipment transfers. One manifestation of this relationship that was in the headlines this week was the maiden deployment of a Japanese-donated patrol pane to a shoal disputed between the Philippines and China in the South China Sea. The Philippine military said that the TC-90 Beechcraft King Air aircraft flew around Scarborough Shoal on its first mission for the Philippine Navy without encountering a challenge from the Chinese Coast Guard.

On February 2, in yet another demonstration of the military ties between the two countries, a Japanese destroyer arrived in the Philippines for a three-day visit. The JS Amagiri, which has one patrol helicopter and around 200 personnel, will be in the Philippines until February 4, according to information disclosed by the Philippine Navy earlier this week. This is reportedly the first such visit by a Japanese military vessel to the Philippines for 2018.

According to the Philippine Navy, the destroyer, which was escorted by the PN vessel BRP Rajah Humabon to its designated anchorage area, will participate in a range of activities during its visit. This includes courtesy calls on Philippine officers, a shipboard tour of the JS Amagiri, goodwill activities like basketball and soccer, as well as a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) that will cap off the port visit.

Reflecting on the significance of the visit in what was an active week for Japan-Philippines defense relations, Captain Koji Saito, commander of Escort Division Two of the JMSDF, noted that the visit, along with the transfer of the TC-90s, represented “remarkable proof that shows our strong navy-to-navy relations,” in remarks reported by Philippine media outlets.
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on February 21, 2018, 06:15:26 AM
Is our position on the left a pragmatic response to the position on the right?

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/27983513_586883268313396_7753524766153568548_o.jpg)

From: Office of the President (https://www.facebook.com/PresSpokespersonPH/photos/a.397841807217544.1073741828.396756967326028/586883268313396/?type=3&theater&ifg=1)
     (http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/0123_Foreign-AmericaFirst.jpg)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on March 04, 2018, 06:09:03 PM
The Chinese bureaucracy is not a monolithic entity and is not immune to infighting. Therein lies the value in creating contacts at various levels of that bureaucracy . . . and side-stepping the Chinese diplomatic corps.

The more we REALLY know about the enemy . . . and the more direct contacts we have at various levels of the bureaucracy . . . the better able the Philippines will be to advance OUR agenda. It is through those measures -- along with the strengthening of our economic defenses -- that we will prevail against the dragon.

Xi Jinping decides to abolish presidential term limits
Mar 1st 2018 | BEIJING

https://www.economist.com/news/china/21737543-unhappiness-china-palpable-xi-jinping-decides-abolish-presidential-term-limits

BLOGGERS in China surpassed themselves in their ingenuity after the Communist Party announced its plan to get rid of presidential term limits, which would have required Xi Jinping to step down as head of state in 2023. One online commentator posted a picture of Winnie-the-Pooh hugging a jar of honey, with the caption “Find the thing you love and stick with it.” The Bear of Very Little Brain is used in China as code for the portly Mr Xi—the post was swiftly deleted by humourless censors. Others posted mock condom advertisements with tag lines such as “Doing it twice is not enough” and “I like how you’re always on top.” (The manufacturer solemnly informed readers that these were fakes.) Other banned terms included “I disagree”, “Animal Farm” (the novel), “emigrate”, “board the plane” (dengji, which also sounds like “ascend the throne”) and “Yuan Shikai”, an early 20th-century warlord who declared himself emperor and died six months later.

Censorship makes judging public reaction in China hard. But there was more inventive mockery in response to the startling announcement on February 25th than there was during the country’s biggest political event of the past few years, a party congress last October. There was also some unusual open dissent. A prominent former editor, Li Datong, and a well-known businesswoman, Wang Ying, both appealed to the legislature through WeChat, a social-media platform, demanding that it reject what Ms Wang called an “outright betrayal”. Many Chinese, it seems, regard scrapping term limits as a return to the bad old days of strongman rule.

Such limits may not matter much in themselves (they will be formally abolished at an annual session of the rubber-stamp parliament, which starts on March 5th). The presidency is a weak office. Mr Xi could stay in power as the party’s general secretary and military chief, to which term limits do not apply. But the abolition is still important partly because it is the clearest evidence that Mr Xi does, in fact, plan to ignore convention that party chiefs step down after ten years, and keep all of his jobs after 2023. It also pierces the veil of politics and shows what kind of ruler he wants to be. At a time when he is trying to boost China’s image globally as a modern, outward-looking and responsible state, the political system he governs seems premodern, opaque and treacherous.

The system itself is extremely unusual. China has two ladders of authority: the government and the party. The party hierarchy outranks the state one. In other countries, the ministers of finance and foreign affairs (government jobs) are usually the most important ones after the president or prime minister. In China, they are not even in the top 25. Neither man is a member of the Politburo, let alone its inner sanctum, the Politburo Standing Committee. Formally, the People’s Liberation Army is controlled by the party, not the government. In one respect, though, Chinese politics is all too normal. As with other Leninist systems, it is bedevilled by the problem of leadership succession. Of the 11 party leaders since 1921 (seven since the party seized power in 1949), only one—Mr Xi’s predecessor, Hu Jintao—has stepped down from all his posts in accordance with a timetable. Seven were executed or purged.

In the 1980s, reacting to the chaos of the Mao era, Deng Xiaoping tried to make the system more orderly and predictable by introducing new rules, norms and precedents. These included the reinstitution of the post of president (there had not been one since 1968), along with a two-term limit for the holder of that office as well as the vice-president. Mandatory retirement ages were also introduced. After Mao’s one-man freak show, Deng argued that China needed “collective leadership”. In a speech in 1980 he said the system should avoid an “over-concentration of power”, which, he warned, was “liable to give rise to arbitrary rule”. He said it should make a clearer separation between the party and the government. And it had to “solve the problem of succession in leadership”. Before he resigned in 1989 as head of the party’s Central Military Commission, Deng said his final task was to “take the lead in establishing a retirement system”.

As the abolition of term limits shows, he failed—or at least, his reforms failed to rein in Mr Xi. Instead of avoiding an over-concentration of powers, the president has made himself chairman of everything. Instead of separating party from state, he has injected party control into areas which had once been relatively free of it, such as private companies (see article). Now he has cast aside Deng’s efforts to introduce a system of succession by timetable.

< Edited >

===


(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/20180303_CNC955_4.png)


You can't identify these cracks in the Chinese system . . . and exploit them to our benefit . . . if you do not have links at multiple levels across the whole spectrum of the Chinese government. THAT is where the value of this engagement lies. The "learning" here, is also about learning more about these weaknesses

PDP-Laban out to learn ideology from Communist Party of China (http://defenseph.net/drp/index.php?topic=3053.0)


Who better to help the Philippines "learn" about these fractures than intelligence officers who are sent to China to "learn" from them?

Duterte eyes China training for PHL military (http://defenseph.net/drp/index.php?topic=3034.0)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on March 12, 2018, 07:57:12 PM
Heydarian talks about "strategic resistance" as a third alternative to suicidal war (option 1) or graceful accommodation (option 2). If what Duterte is already doing doesn't fall under strategic resistance . . . then we have a need for a "fourth option". One that defends our sovereignty and buys us time to catch up with our ASEAN neighbor's economic and military capabilities so that we can mount a more effective defense against the Chinese bully.

Day after day, what we hear are unmistakably defeatist statements, which reflect the creeping grip of strategic fatalism among our leadership. Case in point is the false argument that our options in the West Philippine Sea, and increasingly in the Benham Rise, are a suicidal war or graceful accommodation. 

This could be no farther from the truth, since, as Buddha would have counseled, there is always the third, more moderate path forward. And that is called "strategic resistance."

If the following actions don't constitute "strategic resistance" . . .

Duterte insists West PH Sea et. al. belong to PH (http://defenseph.net/drp/index.php?topic=103.0)

Philippine protests against China under Duterte (http://defenseph.net/drp/index.php?topic=1063.0)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/relations.png)

. . . then a fourth approach is called for. 

Quote
Vietnam, a country far poorer than the Philippines and with no superpower ally, has gradually built up its own defensive capacity, knowing it only needs a minimum credible deterrence to protect its precious resources and territorial claims across the South China Sea.

It's worth noting that Vietnam already has . . .

An island in the WPS, which was taken from the Philippines that had a sheltered port as of 2014

Expansion of facilities by 2014

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2014-1.png)

While the PAF is still re-learning fighter operations, Vietnam already has . . .

Photo from airliners.net (http://www.airliners.net/photo/Vietnam-Air-Force/Sukhoi-Su-30MK2/2348496/L)

(http://cdn-www.airliners.net/photos/airliners/6/9/4/2348496.jpg?v=v40)

Vietnam already operates Kilo class submarines

(http://znews-photo.d.za.zdn.vn/w660/Uploaded/zugtwi/2017_01_02/kilo21443498094.jpg)

Lễ hạ thuỷ tàu kilo. Ảnh: TTXVN.

Quote
Indonesia, on the other hand, has renamed the waters off the coast of Natuna islands as North Natuna Sea, an explicit rejection of China's vague but expanding claims beyond the South China Sea basin and well into the Southeast Asian country's exclusive economic zone. 

Jakarta, which has similar per capita income as the Philippines and without any superpower ally, is also stepping up its crackdown on illegal fishing by Chinese elements within its waters, while deploying a larger share of its resources to maritime security.

Like Vietnam, Indonesia has a fully functional air arm

F16.net - Indonesia (http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article6.html)

(http://www.f-16.net/g3/var/resizes/f-16-photos/album39/album31/aan.jpg?m=1371902652)
Two Indonesian vipers, fully armed with 4x AIM-9 and 2x AGM-65 missiles, flying low (200 ft) over Gulf Of Popoh, South of East Java Province. [Photo by Capt.Agung "Sharky" Sasongkojati]
-
(http://www.f-16.net/g3/var/resizes/f-16-photos/album39/album31/aah.jpg?m=1371150391)
TNI-AU F-16A #TS-1606 in the Indonesian AF's Elang Biru (Blue Falcons) Demonstration Team's color scheme. The team's aircraft have an operational task as well as evidenced by the 4x AIM-9 and 2x AGM-65 missiles on this aircraft. [Photo by Major Agung "Sharky" Sasongkojati]

. . . has the oldest submarine fleet in South East Asia

(http://www.janes.com/images/assets/032/59032/main_p1651552.jpg)
The Indonesian Navy's first Type 209/1400 submarine, pictured at its launching ceremony on 24 March in Okpo. Source: DSME

. . . and has a very active indigenous defense industry. The PN even bought its two LSDs from them

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/14495423_10211106860657470_705335114559075324_n.jpg)


Quote
Both Japan and South Korea, which happen to be top trading partners of China, have also resisted Beijing's maritime push into the East China and Yellow Seas, respectively. In several occasions, South Korea went so far as shooting to death illegal Chinese fishermen encroaching into the Yellow Sea.

Japan is the third largest economy in the world . . . and South Korea is, among other things, the largest shipbuilder in the world.
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on March 16, 2018, 01:21:37 PM
Singapore PM tells ASEAN to adjust to new power balance
Lee says region can benefit from China, India despite their "tidal pulls"

KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/Singapore-PM-tells-ASEAN-to-adjust-to-new-power-balance?n_cid=NARAN012

SINGAPORE -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations should adjust to a new power balance in Asia so that individual members and the group can benefit from increasingly influential China and India, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a lecture on Tuesday.

The city-state is this year's chair of the 10-member bloc.

Speaking at an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute, a Singapore-based research center focused on Southeast Asian studies, Lee said that ASEAN "has to adjust to a strategic balance which is shifting both globally and in the region."

Lee specifically noted the rising power of China and India. "New powers are growing in strength and influence, especially China and India. Individual ASEAN countries must adapt to the new and changing strategic landscape."

This is because the two big countries, he said, will provide opportunities for ASEAN countries.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on April 21, 2018, 11:48:15 PM
Only a couple of years ago, people were up in arms over the administration's statements that would "ruin" PH-US relations, as well as relations with other traditional allies.

Fast-forward to today.

Expanded Balikatan drills to include Japan, Australia
Reuters

Posted at Apr 19 2018 06:47 PM

http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/04/19/18/expanded-balikatan-drills-to-include-japan-australia

MANILA—Annual US-Philippine military exercises involving thousands of troops will be expanded for the first time to include other countries, with Japanese and Australian forces invited to join what will be the 34th edition of the "war games."

The Philippines and the United States have been holding the "Balikatan" drills annually to test the readiness of their militaries to respond to threats that include natural disasters and militant extremist attacks.

The US embassy in Manila said in a statement on Thursday Australia and Japan, two US allies countries with strategic partnerships with the Philippines, would join the exercises taking place in multiple locations on the main island of Luzon, starting on May 7.

< Edited >


=====


(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/640_ZZZ_051517_balikatan_casiguran_2017_05_15_16_27_48.jpg)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on May 10, 2018, 04:48:29 PM
A little over a year ago . . . some folks were up-in-arms at Duterte's supposed "insult" directed at the Japanese for not openly accepting Japan's help to provide weapons. A faux pas with consequences they said.

Well . . . fast forward to today . . .

From: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1660427604043080/

On May 8, 30, the p-1 Patrol aircraft of the maritime self-Defense force implemented a friendly training with the Philippine Navy C-90, in the sea area around palawan.

(8 May) The JMSDF patrol air craft P-1 conducted goodwill exercise with Philippine Navy beachcraft C-90 in the waters and air around Palawan Island, Philippine.

====

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/1-3.jpg)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2-2.jpg)
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: SG99n1 on May 10, 2018, 08:35:12 PM
A little over a year ago . . . some folks were up-in-arms at Duterte's supposed "insult" directed at the Japanese for not openly accepting Japan's help to provide weapons. A faux pas with consequences they said.

Well . . . fast forward to today . . .

From: https://www.facebook.com/groups/rpdefense/permalink/1660427604043080/

On May 8, 30, the p-1 Patrol aircraft of the maritime self-Defense force implemented a friendly training with the Philippine Navy C-90, in the sea area around palawan.

(8 May) The JMSDF patrol air craft P-1 conducted goodwill exercise with Philippine Navy beachcraft C-90 in the waters and air around Palawan Island, Philippine.

====

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/1-3.jpg)

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2-2.jpg)

just to add info.
march 9,2016
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-philippines/philippines-to-lease-planes-from-japan-to-patrol-disputed-sea-idUSKCN0WB0TL

The Philippine military, for decades preoccupied with domestic insurgencies, has been shifting its focus to territorial defense, allocating 83 billion pesos ($1.77 billion) until 2017 to upgrade and modernize its air force and navy.

“We are also leasing from Japan five TC-90 training aircraft to assist our navy in patrolling our territories, particularly in the West Philippine Sea,” he said, referring to the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea.

He did not say when the Japanese aircraft would arrive.
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on May 26, 2018, 08:54:02 AM
Duterte keeping options open on whether to run to US or China for assistance
Published May 24, 2018, 7:55 PM
By Genalyn Kabiling

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/05/24/duterte-keeping-options-open-on-whether-to-run-to-us-or-china-for-assistance/

In case of an outbreak of Islamic State-linked violence in Mindanao, President Duterte is keeping his options open on whether to run to the United States or China for assistance.

The President wondered if the US would be ready to die for Filipinos or if he would be forced to get help from China instead.

“Because of the threat here in Mindanao, you must have an option of where to go,” Duterte said during the inauguration of the Davao river bridge widening project in Davao City.

“Is America ready to die for us? Are they ready to send their troops here? Or can I call China for more arms because we do not have it?” he added.

Duterte admitted that the terror threat was part of the reason he refuses to wage war with China over the territorial conflict in the South China Sea.

“Kung makipag-away pa ako dito tapos papasok pa ang ISIS dito, mag-giyera pa ako ng China, saan ako pupunta? Where do you think would we end up?” he asked.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on May 26, 2018, 03:21:43 PM
From: https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/20180522-Speech_of_President_Rodrigo_Roa_Duterte_during_the_120th_Philippine_Navy_Anniversary.pdf

"Ladies and gentlemen, I would have wanted to share with you my insights in the matter of the West Philippine Sea, its dynamics and, of course, the implication of geopolitics. But for lack of material time, I may do it some other venue which I think you‟d be more comfortable to wait and listen to the policy.

It has something to do with my desire to defend but at the same time not to make any move that would be destructive to the nation. I cannot afford at this time to go to war. I cannot go into a battle which I cannot win and it would only result in the destruction and
probably a lot of losses for our Armed Forces.

Ako gusto ko, I really want to do something to assert. But you know, when I assumed the presidency, there was already this ruckus in the West Philippine Sea. It used to be China Sea.

And because in my simple calculation, in every common sense that‟s available to me, I would have taken a stronger but probably a more violent way of doing it. And I said in my own estimation, it would be a great loss to the nation and probably end up losing a war. And all of these things I have wanted to made known to you and whether you accept it or not, that is the reality on the ground.

It‟s geopolitics. You well know what are at stake. I cannot rely just on one nation and country to defend us and maybe to help us in our hour of need"

- Duterte
Title: Re: Weak nations playing great powers off each other
Post by: adroth on June 28, 2018, 04:19:10 PM
Relationship building continues

Slowly but slowly . . . the pieces are falling into place. The sequencing, and pacing, of the timing is excruciating.

PH-Russia defense cooperation will be in the form of training: Esperon
Published April 21, 2017, 6:54 PM
By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/04/21/ph-russia-defense-cooperation-will-be-in-the-form-of-training-esperon/

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Friday (April 21) said that the defense cooperation between the Philippines and Russia would be in the form of training.

Esperon, in an interview after the President’s visit to the Russian guarded missile cruiser Varyag, said details about the said cooperation will be finalized during President Duterte’s visit to Moscow next month.

President Rodrigo Duterte visits the Russian warship vessel Varyag at Pier 15 in Manila on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Credits: Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)
President Rodrigo Duterte visits the Russian warship vessel Varyag at Pier 15 in Manila on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Credits: Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin)

“Defense cooperation would come in the form of training. Probably some exchange of information,” he said.

< Edited >

According to Esperon, Duterte visited the said ship, which is docked in Port Area, Manila, as a sign of good will after the President received an invitation.

“The visit of the president is also a show of good will no more, no less. It’s also our time to extend an invitation for them to come again. Which he did,” he said.

< Edited >


=====

Russian overtures continue . . .

From: https://www.facebook.com/CNNPhilippines/posts/1914731552100068

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2-2.jpg)



From: http://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/04/21/17/watch-russian-navy-officials-do-duterte-pose

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/3-2.jpg)


. . . arrangements with the US resume more openly. Only the dense would have really assumed that this had really changed in any meaningful way.

Talking about "making a statement"

FF15 deployed to Pagasa Island for SND Lorenzana's visit

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ff15.png)
[/quote]

Defense attache assigned

Russia to send first designated defense attaché to PH
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora  June 28, 2018, 1:13 pm

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1039762

MANILA -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday has signed an order to send his country's first designated defense attaché to the Philippines, the Russian Embassy in Manila announced Thursday.

The move, according to the embassy, signals Moscow's determination to strengthen military and technical cooperation with Manila.

According to Natalia Naumova, press attaché at the embassy, no specific person was designated yet.

"It was the principal decision to establish such position at the Embassy. (We) will start working on it now as we have the frameworks," she told the Philippine News Agency.

The Russian leader's order comes more than a month after the Philippines sent its first defense attaché to Moscow.

As per an earlier post by Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos Sorreta, Col. Dennis Pastor was with his administrative assistant T/Sgt. Pablito Igne when he reported for duty in May 2018 as head of the Office of Defense Attaché in the Philippine Embassy.

He described the sending of a Philippine defense attaché to Russia as the "first time in over 40 years" of relations between the two states.

The bilateral relations of the two countries continue to improve since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016.

Meanwhile, defense cooperation between Moscow and Manila developed further after the signing of the Agreement on Defense Cooperation and the Agreement on Military-Technical Cooperation in 2017. (PNA)

====

(http://defenseph.net/bootcamp/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2-11.jpg)