Oct 282014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/11/07MANILA3637.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3637
2007-11-13 08:11
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO4411
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #3637 3170811
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 130811Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8847
INFO RUEHBD/AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN IMMEDIATE 5566
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK IMMEDIATE 2447
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 9720
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA IMMEDIATE 6694
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR IMMEDIATE 0741
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 003637

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MLS, EAP/PD (MCLOUGHLIN), ISN
SECDEF FOR AP/ISA (TOOLAN)
JOINT STAFF FOR CLEMMONS
NSC FOR E.PHU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/13/2017
TAGS: MARR PREL RP KPAO MASS MPOS
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINES — GREAT WHITE FLEET COMMEMORATION

REF: STATE 152754

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney, reasons 1.4 (b,d).

¶1. (C) After lengthy discussion of the strategic and
political impact that the Great White Fleet commemoration
initiative could have on bilateral relations, Post declines
participation in the commemoration and recommends against a
visit to the Philippines. The United States and the
Philippines enjoy a warm and close relationship between our
peoples and governments, as borne out by the many U.S. ship
visits we support. In 2007, the Mission has seen more than
70 port calls by U.S. Navy vessels, and the resulting
goodwill they generate is a powerful public affairs tool that
highlights the Navy’s role in support of American foreign
policy, to include humanitarian relief and crisis response.
In addition, the USNS Mercy visited the Philippines in 2006,
providing vital medical support in some of the most isolated
and impoverished areas of the country.

¶2. (C) However, Post believes that the arrival the Great
White Fleet would not meaningfully augment the already strong
U.S. military and naval assets in the Philippines.
As noted in reftel, the initial voyage of the Great White
Fleet coincided with U.S. fighting against Philippine rebels.
For this reason, the visit could have clear negative
historical and symbolic overtones in the Philippines,
particularly among highly nationalistic political, economic,
academic, and journalistic elites. Filipinos remember
positively the gifts of democratic institutions, along with
public education and health, but evoking the Great White
Fleet would also stir memories of a period also marked by
military conflict with a nascent Philippine independence
movement. Communist and Muslim terrorist groups in the
Philippines also seek to make use of any negative public
reaction to boost their local support.

¶3. (C) The strategic message of the Great White Fleet
commemoration — that the United States remains involved in
the region — already is demonstrated by a variety of means:
our robust schedule of ship visits, large-scale military
exercises like Balikatan and PHIBLEX/Talon Vision, and the
civil-military and counterterrorism activities of the Joint
Special Operations Task Force-Philippines. Filipinos already
believe the USG to be engaged in Southeast Asia, and they
support our presence. Additionally, there is enduring public
resistance to the concept of re-establishing U.S. military
bases in the Philippines, an issue that inadvertently might
be rekindled by a Great White Fleet commemoration visit. In
short, a visit might generate a negative reaction rather than
produce public goodwill.

¶4. (C) Post wishes success to all involved with the Great
White Fleet commemoration in their visits around the world,
but does not recommend including the Philippines in the
itinerary.
KENNEY

   

 

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