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Aug 12th
Home Columns Dissenting Opinion Is the USA Promoting Full Statehood for Sulu, Parts of Malaysia and Kalimantan?
Is the USA Promoting Full Statehood for Sulu, Parts of Malaysia and Kalimantan? PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Dissenting Opinion
Wednesday, 15 August 2007 14:11

What is the US intention in the Southern Philippines? I have heard at least five times, even in the big Manila newspapers, that the USA might be planning to promote a new nation composed of Sulu, parts of Malaysia, and a portion of Indonesia on Borneo (Kalimantan). Except from the view of Global Realpolitik, this is hard to believe. However, the resulting client state there would give the USA maximum leverage against crucial shipping lanes and continental Asia.

(Editor's Note: Tom Stern, MD, of the Bay Area, California, has been appointed recently Datu Bandahala, meaning a Prince of Sulu and North Borneo, and a Special Representative to the USA of Sultan Esmail Dalus Kiram II of the Sultanate of Sulu. He is the husband of Ms. Yolanda "Manang Yo" Ortega-Stern, the president of the Federation of Philippine-American Chambers of Commerce.)

Leaders of this area would gladly, at the right price, give America a 100-year lease on a strategic location for a large base. America has a history with Sulu going back to the 1840s, and ruled Sulu as sovereign from 1898 to 1946. Institutional wisdom in Washington, D.C., gives America a deep understanding of the area, and we are not present with troops out of ignorance or misconception. Is there a really big international game in play, something far more than a terrorism fight where 10,000 men hunt for the same five terrorists for six years?

The USA and the Philippines have an existing Visiting Forces Agreement and a Mutual Logistics and Support Agreement. The USA is rapidly fortifying Guam at this time, but it is 1,500 miles farther from East Asia than is the Philippine archipelago.

Stay tuned.

* * * *

US troops have set up a new kind of US base in Mindanao?

Dateline DAVAO CITY, Aug. 15, 2007 (MindaNews Advisory 5) – The Bangkok-based Focus on the Global South which has been monitoring US military presence in the Philippines today warned that US troops spotted in Mindanao are not only involved in the ongoing war against terrorism but "have also established a new kind of US base in the south."

In a press statement, Focus on the Global South said US troops spotted by the Agence France Press belong to the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), a unit that has been indefinitely stationed in southern Mindanao since 2002.

"Contrary to previous efforts by the US and Philippine governments to portray the troops as participating only in temporary training exercises called the Balikatan, it has since been revealed that this unit has stayed on and maintained its presence in the country for the last six years," it said. ###

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Last Updated on Thursday, 16 August 2007 00:48

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