Allies of Necessity: U.S.-Philippine Strategic Relations, 1898-2013
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The U.S.-Philippine relationship, established in 1898, has a complex history that spans colonialism, World War Two, the Cold War, and the War on Terror. Through a history of partnership and shared enemies, the Philippines have proven to be a reliable ally of the United States. This paper argues that the U.S.-Philippine relationship has been one of partnership and of seeking mutual state interest, rather than a relationship marked by oppression and domination. Throughout the history of this bilateral relationship, the United States has sought to build up and assist the development of the Philippine state, while the Philippines have provided invaluable geopolitical resources and power projection capabilities to the United States. In light of the continued rise of China, the growing importance of Southeast Asia, and the Obama Administration’s current “Pivot to Asia,” an evaluation of the U.S.-Philippine relationship is vitally important, not only to understand current U.S. foreign policy in Asia, but also to inform the future decisions of U.S. policy makers.