By Tara Yap
With growing security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region, a former American ambassador believes that a military alliance between the Philippines and the United States (US) remains vital.
“If you look at the Philippines and the US military relationship, it is absolutely crucial in my view for the Philippines to have security (arrangement) for a longer term,” urged Charles Salmon Jr., an adjunct senior fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“That kind of military relationship has to be managed carefully,” appealed Salmon, who served as political officer of the US Embassy in Manila during the 1970s.
When President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, he tried to forge stronger ties with both China and Russia while attacking the US.
For Salmon, Duterte’s move has no fundamental change to the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and the US.
“We’ll continue to be important. We’re going to continue to work together for stability in the Asia-Pacific,” emphasized Salmon.
A former foreign policy advisor to the commander-in-chief of the US Pacific Command of the US Armed Forces, Salmon said there will be “a continuing period of friction” between China and the US.
However, Salmon told Manila Bulletin that this friction won’t lead to a real war.
Aside from issues with China and North Korea, Southeast Asia is also dealing with the growing presence of the Islamic State.