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US-Philippine Alliance Drawing Board: Issues and Options Pacific Forum-CSIS Young Leaders Program Post-Conference Assignment.

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Presentation on theme: "US-Philippine Alliance Drawing Board: Issues and Options Pacific Forum-CSIS Young Leaders Program Post-Conference Assignment."— Presentation transcript:

1 US-Philippine Alliance Drawing Board: Issues and Options Pacific Forum-CSIS Young Leaders Program Post-Conference Assignment

2 The “US-Philippine Alliance Drawing Board: Issues and Options” is the post-conference assignment by Young Leaders at “The Future of US Alliances in Asia,” a US-Thailand-Philippines conference held Oct , 2010 in Bangkok, Thailand. A group of US and Filipino Young Leaders provide an overview on the US- Philippine relationship. This visualization delivers a next generation perspective on ways to strengthen the alliance, concerns that threaten the alliance, and the US military presence in the Philippines.

3 Young Generation Perspective To analyze the current standing of the US-Philippine alliance and examine the issues, needs and possibilities surrounding the alliance, our team surveyed undergraduate students (enrolled in social sciences courses) from the US and the Philippines.

4 Respondents’ Profile Mixed Background: IR and non-IR Of the 63 Filipinos and 25 Americans who completed the survey, 51% of Filipino respondents are studying International Relations, while 64% of the American respondents are non-IR students.

5 Awareness of the existence of US-Philippine Alliance

6 Primary Reason for the US-Philippine Alliance

7 Which of the following are included in the US-Philippine Alliance? Security Partnership. Economic Partnership. Development

8 Should US-Philippine relations operate outside the alliance framework?

9 Is the US-Philippine alliance meeting your expectations?

10 Major Threats to the Alliance Geopolitical issues such as the South China Sea dispute between RP and China (28 %) Geopolitical issues such as the South China Sea dispute between RP and China (28 %) Differences in expectations (24%) Differences in expectations (24%) Rise of China (24%) Rise of China (24%) Differences in national objectives & foreign policy priorities between the US and Philippine government (56%) Differences in national objectives & foreign policy priorities between the US and Philippine government (56%) Limited capacity of the Philippines to add value to the alliance (36%) Limited capacity of the Philippines to add value to the alliance (36%) American Perspective

11 Major Threats to the Alliance Differences in expectation (46%) Differences in expectation (46%) Geopolitical issues such as the South China Sea dispute between RP and China (32%) Geopolitical issues such as the South China Sea dispute between RP and China (32%) Rise of China (24%) Rise of China (24%) Differences in national objectives & foreign policy priorities between the US and Philippine government (71%) Differences in national objectives & foreign policy priorities between the US and Philippine government (71%) Limited capacity of the Philippines to add value to the alliance (57%) Limited capacity of the Philippines to add value to the alliance (57%) Philippine Perspective

12 Are you aware that there were US bases in the Philippines?

13 Are you aware that there are US troops in Mindanao? 52% of American respondents are not aware. 59% of Filipino respondents are aware.

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15 Alliance “A cooperative security relationship between two or more states usually taking the form of a written military commitment” (Stephen Walt quoted in Stefan Bergsmann, “The Concept of Military Alliance”, in Small States and Alliances, ed. Erich Reiter and Heinz Gartner, 2001) Alliance “assumes some level of commitment and an exchange of benefits for both parties; severing the relationship or failing to honor the agreement would presumably cost something, even if it were compensated in other ways.” (Stephen Walt, The Origins of Alliances, 1987)

16 Issue 1: Lack of understanding of what an alliance is about Although there is a high level of awareness in the two countries about the existence of the US-Philippine alliance, the common understanding of “alliance” contains elements of the broader bilateral relationship, which includes economic and development cooperation, aside from security partnership.

17 Issue 1: Lack of understanding of what an alliance is about Although 77% of respondents view security partnership as the core component of the alliance, 66% include economic partnership as one of the elements of the alliance, while 61% believe that development cooperation is a constituent concern of the alliance. Data shows however that Filipinos are more inclined than Americans to view economic (76% vs. 56%) and development (67% vs. 56%) cooperation as included in the alliance.

18 Issue 1: Lack of understanding of what an alliance is about Despite the apparent gap in understanding the distinction between alliance and the broader bilateral relationship, majority of respondents (64% of Americans/69% of Filipinos) believe that the US-Philippine relations should operate outside the alliance framework.

19 Issue 2: Misplaced Expectations = Great Disappointment 81% of Filipinos expressed disappointment when asked whether the alliance is meeting their expectations. Conversely, 56% of Americans gave a positive rating. Given previous responses where Filipinos demonstrate an expanded view of the scope of the alliance, reality has not lived up to their expectations.

20 Issue 3: Threats to the Alliance are psychological and perception-based rather than external The data suggests that (1) differences in national objectives and foreign policy priorities between the US and the Philippine governments, and (2) the limited capacity of the Philippines to add value to the alliance, are the top two threats to the alliance. From a Philippine perspective, differences in expectations also garnered a high score.

21 Issue 3: Threats to the Alliance are more internally driven than external Only 28% of Americans and 32% of Filipinos view geopolitical issues such as the South China Sea dispute between the Philippines and China as a threat. Both Americans (24%) and Filipinos (24%) regard the rise of China as the smallest threat to the alliance. This indicates a perception that the likely sources of friction in the alliance are internally driven as opposed to originating from external sources.

22 Issue 4: Imbalance of Knowledge about the Alliance All American respondents are aware that the Philippines once hosted US bases. Only 48% of Americans are aware of the current presence of US troops in Mindanao. This could be because US media outlets concentrate on theaters of operation deemed important to the American public or the government (Cold War: Asia Pacific; post 9-11: Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.). The level of exposure and familiarity of the public to US-Philippine security cooperation may also reflect the level of importance and attention given by the US government to the Philippines.

23 Issue 4: Imbalance of Knowledge about the Alliance 95% of Filipinos are aware that there were U.S. bases in the country. A majority of Filipinos (59%) are aware of the presence of US troops in Mindanao; half of Americans (52%) did not. This result is understandable given the tendency to put Philippine-US relations at the heart of Philippine foreign relations by both the public and the government. It is important to note however that awareness does not always create a positive impression.

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25 Options Issue 1: Lack of understanding of what an alliance is about It is notable that the Philippine-US Alliance is perceived as being more than security and military cooperation. This creates expectations that may exceed what the alliance is supposed to achieve.

26 Options Issue 1: Lack of understanding of what an alliance is about Both sides should review commitments to the alliance to temper expectations.

27 Options Issue 2: Misplaced Expectations = Great Disappointment The public must be educated on the alliance, its context and the commitment required so that undue expectations are not created. This will lessen negative responses to any perceived inequality or failure of the alliance.

28 Options Issue 3: Threats to the Alliance are psychological and perception-based rather than external The two allies need to evaluate their commitment to the alliance and determine if they see today’s security environment as the same as that at the founding of the alliance. This will help them determine if the alliance should be deepened, renewed, or abrogated.

29 Options Issue 3: Threats to the Alliance are more internally driven than external At the strategic level, this creates an ideal atmosphere for appraising obligations that the allies can fulfill and the resources that they can create. The onus is on the Philippines to create for itself a clear and coherent approach to the alliance.

30 Options Issue 4: Imbalance of Knowledge about the Alliance Both sides must promote the alliance effectively through partnerships in government, academe, private sector and civil society. The US Embassy in Manila has to engage stakeholders so that concerned sectors and the public in the Philippines will have information about US thinking about the alliance.

31 Options Issue 4: Imbalance of Knowledge about the Alliance The Philippines should be active in promoting the alliance through state media and public foras. Closer partnerships between the two countries can create programs that will promote the alliance and allow it to remain relevant to the lives of the Filipino people.

32 Final Comments There is a need for an in-depth review of the strategic interests of the two allies to determine where convergences and divergences occur. If the context of the alliance has changed since the original Mutual Defense Treaty of 1947, then the current security environment should be re- examined to determine which areas of the alliance could be deepened

33 Final Comments It is necessary to review the alliance so that expectations could be tempered from both sides and that clear and credible commitments can be made to achieve a deeper alliance.

34 US-RP Alliance Student Visualization 2MAAg442TDw iBk-iqt3Xg iBk-iqt3Xg

35 Team Members

36 Special Thanks Students –Video Samuel Cobangbang Edwin Concepcion Denise Copon Stephanie Lambert Ayni Nuyda Vince Raymundo Marian Rios

37 Special Thanks Amb. Alfonso Yuchengco for supporting the Young Leader’s Program of the Pacific Forum CSIS Survey participants from the Philippines and the US


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