How can the United States work to ensure that the Mutual Defense Treaty is ready to overcome the challenges set by the modern threat environment?
With the former President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte failing to build meaningful relationships with China, analysts have called for the US to buttress their relationship with the Philippines and make the Mutual Defense Treaty fit for 21st century warfare.
The relationship has been touch and go for over half a decade. In 2019, the Chinese government lauded the increasingly cordial relationship between China and the Philippines, noting that: “Xi Jinping pointed out that China-Philippines relations have achieved the ‘trilogy’ of turnaround, consolidation and elevation over the past three years, and entered a new stage of development,” a release wrote.
A release that would have confirmed worries in the US military establishment, just years after relations between the US and Philippines chilled with Duterte calling President Barack Obama a “son of a whore”.