Friday, September 16, 2016

DoD unfazed by Philippine president's call for end of U.S. military operations

he Pentagon is optimistic that the U.S. alliance with the Philippines remains intact despite the new president’s abrupt call for ending major American military operations there.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is unconcerned about the comments this week from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that appear to signal a major shift away from the U.S..

Duterte said he wants U.S. special operations troops to leave the southern Philippines. The Philippine navy will end joint patrols with U.S. Navy vessels and its military may begin buying weapons from Russia or China rather than the United States, Duterte said.

"This is a longtime ally," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Thursday.

"The secretary believes that this is one of the most enduring relationships in the Asia-Pacific region and will be for some time to come.  more