Decoding the Philippines' strategy of `joining hands with all parties`. 0Decoding the Philippines' strategy of `joining hands with all parties`. 0

(Dan Tri) – Analysts say the Philippines is on the right track by signaling to the world that the country is `ready to cooperate with any party` for strategic benefits.

US and Philippine marines practice air attack exercises within the framework of this year’s Balikatan military exercise, with the participation of reserve forces from Australia and France (Photo: Armed Forces of the Philippines).

As the Philippines strengthens its security ties with France, Japan and Australia, analysts say such partnerships are key to strengthening the Southeast Asian nation’s defenses and reputation.

French and Australian forces are participating in the annual Balikatan exercise alongside US and Philippine troops.

The Philippines currently has visiting force agreements with the US and Australia, and is considering the possibility of a similar agreement with France.

The Philippines is also negotiating a reciprocal access agreement with Japan and has signed a memorandum of understanding with Canada on enhanced defense cooperation.

Analysts say it is important for the Philippines to strengthen security cooperation with like-minded countries, not only to strengthen its positions in the South China Sea but also for its modernization efforts.

Earlier this year, the Philippine armed forces adopted a new strategy called the `Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept.`

Just before this year’s Balikatan exercise began, India completed the transfer of the first of three Brahmos missile complexes to the Philippines under a $375 million deal signed in 2022.

`For many years, we have not been able to stand firm. This is the first time in Philippine history that we have been able to have such a weapon… but of course, 3 combinations are still not enough,` expert

Expert Ona revealed that the Philippines is considering choosing France to provide the first submarines.

`When the Philippines plans to modernize its military, it usually takes a generation to complete that plan. There have been talks about buying a submarine (for years) but only during the President’s term.

Decoding the Philippines' strategy of `joining hands with all parties`.

US President Joe Biden (center) with Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Multilateral partnerships are beneficial to the Philippines as the country strengthens its diplomatic ties.

`The Philippines indirectly sends a signal that it is willing to cooperate with any country that can bring strategic effectiveness to regional security,` said expert Espena.

Foreign policy and security analyst Lucio Pitlo III said that the Philippines should take advantage of its strategic position in the region to promote support for defense-building capabilities.

`Joint exercises and training with allies and partners such as the ongoing Balikatan exercise enhance readiness and interoperability to jointly respond to contingencies. However,

K. Parada, defense research analyst for the Philippine Navy, said that leveraging alliances is one of the most effective strategies the Philippines can use to compensate for security deficiencies.

He said multilateral agreements are often `aimed at developing capabilities, interoperability and facilitating exchange of understanding between the armed forces`.

Analysts say Manila’s middle power status also opens up opportunities for economic growth.

Expert Manhit said the Marcos administration should continue to strengthen strategic partnerships and ensure they expand from military cooperation to economic cooperation.

According to expert Ona, foreign direct investment from sources other than China has allowed the Philippines to build defenses against `economic coercion` from Beijing.

Expert Ona said that the Marcos administration was on the right track in building diplomatic relationships with like-minded countries.

Avatar of Naomi

By Naomi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *