Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The US in Mindanao. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

From Asia Times comes this story about the US wanting to build a military base in Mindanao as part of the war on terrorism.

Hey, I believe in fighting terrorism but this seems like a really bad idea. First, it's a reassertion of our colonial history over the Philippines. It was only 20 years ago that the Filipinos finally kicked the US military off the island for the first time since 1898. Given the history between the two nations, it seems to me that a military base would only make anti-Americanism stronger. Second, if you're a nationalist-Islamic military organization, wouldn't your ultimate enemy building a military base in your claimed territory be like a gift from God, er, Allah? Wouldn't a stronger US military presence just make your points for you?

We are putting a ton of money into Mindanao for infrastructure. This is a good idea. Creating a better life for the people of the southern Philippines will help US goals and the people of Mindanao. A US military base? I don't see this doing any good at all.

But what am I thinking? When hasn't a US military presence in the developing world helped our aims? I know I can't think of an example....