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National Security Affairs, Research Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1798

Research Paper

Introduction

American forces put their lives on the lines every day to protect the lives of innocent civilians and democracy within the country. Every time armed forces are deployed within a country either them being hostile or friendly country, they must be aware and prepared about the background, including cultures, customs, and rights, along with the government, and any other strategic information that might be needed in order to carry out their mission, protect themselves, and the people within the country. The purpose of this essay is to address the country’s information of the Philippines in order to inform the readers on the background, government, the strategic value, and the future direction of the presence of American Armed Forces in the Philippines. This essay will evaluate how the national security affairs of Philippines can or will influence the United States’ military and the diplomatic engagement, involvement, and intervention from a strategic point of view. With this information provided regional awareness will be the key factor in determining the success of the mission and the goals outlined. Using the Three Parts Communication Model as a point of reference in formatting this essay, it is useful in letting the reader comprehend the message as it relays to the receiver.

Body

Background Information

The Philippines is the second-largest archipelago located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam, and the third largest English speaking country in the world. Located in Southeast Asia of the Pacific Rim its neighboring countries are Malaysia, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and surrounding by another 7000 islands. They are located around a lot of volcanic activity that mainly builds up from the sea floor, their coastline is twice the size of the United States, and land size equivalent to the State of Arizona. They currently have a population estimated at around 100 million people that speak a mixture of languages that include English, Filipino, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Until the United States came to the country after World War II, gaining their independence, they were colonized the Spanish until 1898 following the Spanish-American War. The United States gained control until they gained their independence in 1946. They have been greatly influence by western culture and Asian cultures. The present mixture of cultures including neighboring countries such as India, and Spanish-Mexican influence within the Philippines contributes to their lifestyles based on their regions within the island. All these mixtures of different cultures are seen in their literature, music, custom, movies, religion, and food. Even though, there are various influences in their diverse culture, the Philippines are mostly divided region based on their differences in religion, social cases, geographic locations, and languages, which have been eased due to migration and intermarriages. The three main groups that exist within the country are the Upland Tribes, Christians (due to American-Spanish colonization’s), which are the largest of the groups have great pull within the government and policy making, and Muslims. Muslim are the second largest group that consist of multiple languages and differences in culture yet they all share a common identity. The third group, the Upland Tribes are made up of over 100 individual tribes located in the islands.

Their values are deeply rooted in putting family, their society has strong bonds of loyalty to their family.

A Filipino’s loyalty goes first to the immediate family; identity is deeply embedded in the web of kinship. It is normative that one owes support, loyalty, and trust to one’s close kin and, because kinship is structured bilaterally with affinal as well as consanguineal relatives, one’s kin can include quite a large number of people.” (Country Studies, n.d)

Utang na loob, concept within the society forges long lasting relationships that are consisted of acts of assistance that obligates repayment between family members that can last for generations.
The society has values that respect authority and elderly figures as well as support and high self-esteem taught from an early age.

The progress within the country is shrouded with the aid of foreign entities contributing to areas of trade, agriculture, and government infrastructures. After the United States remained a focal point within the country they created the Bureau of Agriculture to promote modernizations of plants and farms. The United States help to restructure irrigation system to help improve their rice production, hemp, sugar, copra, and tobacco. Progress within their country was fostered within their economy due to the free trade relations with the United States. The greatest factor that fostered the development of the Philippine economy was due to free trade relations with the United States. With the stable economy and currency banks were able to be established within the country. The United States along with other foreign country accepted much of their exports which help to contribute to their economic growth. The promotion of public health and sanitation help to end many of the diseases that plague the country such as malaria, cholera, typhoid fever, small pox and other diseases. Other developments that help the country progressed including modernization of transportation and communication with airplanes, cars, and computers, and phones.

The United States helped to emancipate women where they were able to go out alone, work in offices, play sports, and converse without male supervision. They helped to provide education for all not just the higher income families. However, as political parties change many of the rights that were afforded have been stripped from the public, and there is a growing concern for matters of health, but the resurgence of exports moving from agriculture to technology and petroleum is helping to get their economy as one of the most promising. (BBC, 2012) With their government helping to improve stability and progress.

Government

The Philippine’s government has went through dramatic changes since their colonization from the Spanish, Japanese, and then the United States until they were able to gain their independence in 1946. Ferdinand Marcos presided over the country for 20 years until the Manila (people power movement) forced him into exile in 1986. Soon they elected Corazon Aquino to replace him, during her president several social unrest stalled economic and political development. Meanwhile, the United States had posted several military bases throughout the country. In 1992, they elected Fidel Ramos, followed by Joseph Estrada who was impeached, brought economic progress and stability to the government. In 2001 Gloria Macpagal-Arroyo was elected, however the Manila and several protests marred her presidency from allegations of corruption, yet she guided them from being hit from the global financial crisis. Currently Benigno Aquino III is the president, however, they face terroristic threats from all around the world and from the Manila group within their country.

They formed their constitution in 1987 basing their government system similar to the United States as the president serves as both the head of state and government. Like the United State they have the same three branches of government which does the same jobs as the Supreme Court is the highest judicial body. Their democratic government is comprised of mixed legal system of civil, common, Islamic, and customary law. (CIA, 2013) They have several political parties, and pressure groups, with the Manila being a powerful group that performs many protest and other acts against the government. Many of the issues of the government can posed to be of strategic importance to the deployed forces.

Strategic Importance

There are several issues that plague the country that include spouts of political unrest, where protests, and demonstrations are common. According to the BBC, “Since 1969, the government has also faced a protracted guerrilla campaign across much of the country by the communist New People’s Army (NPA).”(BBC, 2012) Other political problems include the terroristic attacks on the island of Jolo, which continually becomes a problem as they face several threats from terrorist organizations around the world. “Three groups comprise the Muslim separatists – the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyaf. The MILF and the Abu Sayyaf are breakaway factions of the MNLF.”(BBC, 2012) These groups have infiltrated many of the islands, contributed to massacres and international kidnapping of journalists and tourists and have become a nuisance to the country. The United States has previously aided the country in fighting these insurgent groups, and have used the groups as forming connections to other terrorist groups around the world.

Strategic importance includes their proximity to major countries within Asia, who the United States currently has conflicts with. Although they have shut down most of their military basis within the country they still military personnel that can get into other countries without detection. “Like Gibraltar half a world away, the Philippines lie at a vital maritime crossroads through which passes more than half of the world’s shipping tonnage and 80 percent of crude oil shipments headed to Japan and South Korea.” (Thomas, Foster, 2012) The country is a keen ally in helping to stop future nuclear war with Korea, and potential conflicts with other Asian countries. “China’s claims are backed by its rapidly growing military power. Its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is building up so-called “anti-access / area denial” military capabilities to hamper the ability of US military forces to operate in the East and South China Seas.”(Thomas, Foster, 2012) However, the Philippines serves as a wrench in their plans and an ace for the United States forces throughout the future.

Future Direction

The future direction of the Philippines and the United States based on their trade relations, military advantages, and their economic stability within the country will lead to economic prosperity. If the government continues to serve the needs and wants of the people they will be able to be one of the competing economies in the world. Their contribution to petroleum and technology exports helps to raise their GDP and income levels. Their location continues to be an aid for the United States in their ongoing conflicts with China and South Korea. Their ties to Islamic terrorists groups help to aid the United States with Intel useful for bringing the terrorists cells around the world down.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Philippines brings much importance to the United States. The importance on being aware of the background, government, and other issues will help to keep the military forces, and the citizens safe. The priority of the deployed forces is to complete whatever mission that was assigned, and knowing the terrain, the potential conflicts, and the correct laws and customs will aid in the mission be successful or being a failure.

References

“About The Philippines.” Country Studies. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://changinglivesvacations.com/philippines/about/

“Guide to the Philippines conflict.” BBC News. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17038024

“On a Serious Note: Safety for Foreigners in the Philippines.” BBC. (2012). Retrieved from http://forums.azbilliards.com/showthread.php?t=301127

“Philippines country profile, Overview.” BBC News. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15521300

“The World Fact book.” CIA. (2013). Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rp.html

Thomas, Jim, Foster, Harry. “The Geostrategic Return of the Phillippines.” CSBA. (2012.). Retrieved from http://www.csbaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2012.04.18-Geostrategic-Ret

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