Feb 222013

25 August 2007

In reaction to VFA Commission’s statement, international think-tank

Reacting to the VFA Commission’s statement, the international think-
thank that claims that the US is building a military base in
Mindanao, Focus on the Global South today asked the VFA Commissioner
Edilberto Adan to answer the following:

* Why is the Philippines listed by the US Overseas Basing Commission,
an official US government body, as developing “cooperative security
locations” – a category of bases under US military definition?[i]

* Why has the Philippines been described by the US Congressional
Research Service, a US government body, as a “supply base for
military operations throughout the region”?[ii]

* Why has a US base construction unit, the Naval Facilities
Engineering Command, given a P650 million, 6-month contract to US
firms offering “base operations” services? How much do “living
quarters” – as Adan describes their facilities – cost?[iii]

n Why do US troops refer to their bases in Mindanao as “Advanced
Operating Base-920”?[iv]

Focus Global South believes that consistent with US and host-
government practice in other countries hosting US bases facing
domestic opposition, the US and the Philippine governments are
deliberately seeking to keep the nature of US military presence in
the Philippines secret.

Part of this is a deliberate attempt to obscure the definition of
what constitutes a “US base.” This entails US troops and supplies
being located inside host-nation facilities, as is the case in the
southern Philippines, as has now been confirmed by Adan. But for all
intents and purposes, Focus on the Global South believes that the
nature of their presence in the Philippines constitute a form of basing.

According to the US Department of Defense’s definition, “Cooperative
Security Locations” – of which the Philippines are confirmed by the
OBC to be hosting – are facilities technically owned by host
governments that would only be used by the US in case of actual
operations; though they could be visited and inspected by the US,
they would most likely be ran and maintained by host-nation personnel
or even private contractors; useful for pre-positioning logistics
support or as venues for joint operations with host militaries. They
are, however, considered as US military facilities by the Pentagon.#

REFERENCE: Herbert Docena, Focus on the Global South Research
Associate, +63 9178874372, Herbert@focusweb.org

[i] Overseas Basing Commission, Report to the President and Congress,
August 15, 2005, http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/obc.pdf
[ii] Thomas Lum and Larry A. Niksch, “The Republic of the
Philippines: Background and US Relations,” CRS Report for Congress,
January 10, 2006, http://opencrs.cdt.org/rpts/RL33233_20060110.pdf
[iii] See Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism,
www.pcij.org/blog/?p=1910; “Contracts, June 6, 2007,” US Department
of Defense, www.defenselink.mil/contracts/contract.aspx?
contractid=3532; Defense Industry Daily, “$14.4M to help US SOCOM in
the Philippines,” June 8, 2007, www.defenseindustrydaily.com/?
s=philippines; Ethan Butterfield, “DynCorp lands $450M Navy
Contingency Services Deal,” Washington Technology, November 3, 2006;
[iv] T.D. Flack, “Special Operations Force aiding an important ally,”
Stars and Stripes, March 10, 2007,


The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip on Sept. 17th 2007

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