The Philippines: New Tack on The Bases

New Tack on The Bases

The prelude to the latest round of talks on the future of the huge U.S. Navy and Air Force bases in the Philippines was routine: communist insurgents blew up a Voice of America transmitter, while right-wing military rebels were ! blamed for detonating a bomb at a Manila bank.

But when the two sides finally sat down together at the Central Bank building in the capital, U.S. negotiator Richard Armitage offered a new tack. Instead of focusing on Washington's inability to pay more than the current $481 million a year in rent, Armitage declared, "The days of a very large presence...

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