Increased Presence in Philippines Could Reduce Forces Based on Guam, Analyst Says
A decision by the United States to expand its presence in the Philippines could diminish the need for Guam to host the entire complement of Marines now envisioned to relocate there from Japan, according to an Asian military affairs expert.
“If the U.S. and Philippine governments decided to go ahead with a U.S. base or bases in the Philippines, it’s possible this could take some of the burden off of Guam to host a lot more military facilities in the future,” Denny Roy, a senior fellow with the Hawaii-based East-West Center, told Pacific Daily News.
The prospect that the U.S. military would increase its foothold in the Philippines should not be seen, however, as an alternative to going ahead with the buildup on Guam, Roy said.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that officials from the U.S. and the Philippines are exploring various options for expanding the U.S. presence in the island nation — operating Navy ships from the Philippines, deploying troops on a rotational basis and staging more frequent joint exercises. The United States does not intend to establish its own base there, however.