Following the Balikatan military exercise in the Philippines, the US Marines are going to stay in the country. At least 80 US Marines will remain in the Philippines on a rotational basis.
“This team will support increased operations, activities, and actions in the region and will enhance our combined C2 capabilities,” Logan said in an email to Marine Corps Times. ”By improving our combined command and control, we will better enable future defense cooperation and further enhance the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ capability development.” said Maj. Christopher Logan, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces, Pacific.
US media outlets call this a “small force” and argue that the Marines won’t participate in combat operations.
“For security reasons we will not go into detail or speculate on future operations, activities, or actions,” Logan said.
On April 14, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said that the Marines would operate out of Camp Aguinaldo as part of partnership efforts between U.S. troops and the Philippine armed forces.
The US and the Philippines also agreed to conduct joint patrols in the South China Sea including parts where China claims its sovereignty.
It’s clear that these actions are a part of the long-standing plan aiming to counter the Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific and to encircle China with military bases and rival alliances . The same straetgy is implemented by the US against Russia in Eurasia.