US troops engaged in Combat in the S. Philippines?

January 15, 2007 at 9:04 pm Leave a comment

Rumors and reports have been circulating about this since the first deployment of US forces here in the wake of the kidnapping and beheading of Americans even before the 911 attacks in the USA.

[]…” The U.S. Troops’ ‘Unconventional’ Presence
by HERBERT DOCENA
Generally not known to the public is that U.S. forces have had a constant presence in the country since January 2002, and that there was contingent clearly staying on in the south whether or not there were Balikatan exercises. …” []

US troops are in several locations of the country officially as “advisers and trainers” and they provide intelligence support.

However – aside from rumored presence and real boots on the ground at some scenes of combat operations. No categorical proof exists – beyond ‘sightings’.

I do not doubt that as is often reported that special forces units may be doing more than providing ‘tactical advisory’ roles when in the field. But if you ask people in Jolo, Zamboanga, and, Basilan they would tell you openly they couldn’t care less so long as someone is going after a criminal band like the Abu Sayyaf that engage in things like extortion, mass kidnappings, gang rape, forced marriages, killings, extortion, wild bombings of public places, killing of priests, missionaries, and anyone who disagrees with them.

I have been on the ground in these places – and – I wonder if the writer of the report, Herbert Docena has, has he ever talked to people in Basilan, Zambo, Maguinadanao, Where the support actions of these US special forces people have saved countless lives if only in the way things like monitoring and electronic intercepts, tactical survailance and the use of UAV’s .

by and large – except for groups closely allied with left leaning and “organizations” the Philippine military and police say are support/front organizations for FTO’s or other terrorist groups whio while not ‘Extremists’ of the Al Qaeda type worry and want to stop any and all support for the Philippine Military.

You find little opposition in places where the terrorists once held hostage whole communities – where now – people live in some semblance of peace. Still far from perfect though – but at least they have a ‘fighting chance.’ This comes from people there – not from government types but from locals who can now send kids to school and work in farms and plan for a tommorow not feeling threatened by extremists controling vast areas through the use of terror and intimidation.

Perhaps Docena should ‘get his feet dirty’ travel about the area he’s writing on – in person.

Group: US GIs fighting in Philippines
Boston Globe, MA –MANILA, Philippines –US troops, in possible violation of the Philippines‘ constitution, have taken part in combat operations against guerrillas linked to

Group: US GIs fighting in Philippines
The Kindred Times, UT –MANILA, Philippines – US troops, in possible violation of the Philippines‘ constitution, have taken part in combat operations against guerrillas linked to

Group: US GIs fighting in Philippines
Meadow Free Press, ID – MANILA, Philippines – US troops, in possible violation of the Philippines‘ constitution, have taken part in combat operations against guerrillas linked to

The Mutual defense treaty covers the presence of US troops engaged in actions versus groups like Al Qaeda and foreign fighters in the Philippines. But this has never been invoked. A bilateral agreement during the Estrada Administration covers US presence for training, support, and special bilateral joint missions.

At the core of the issue over the presence are many side-bar issues – US colonization, The once blanket support for a dictatorship, those who once were in the dictatorship who suffered when the US withdrew its support.

Then there’s the unpaid benefits of Filipinos who served in US forces during World War II – the descendants of collaborators who sided with the Japanese, even factions that trace their roots back to fight versus Spain for independence the US never officially recognized by Washington even if us naval officers signed the Philippine declaration of independence.

They promised to get US backing for it over hundred years ago – but- the treaty of paris ending the Spanish American war ended that.

Overall the number of issues and conflict points are many too numerous to mention here thousands of issues. But there are over 3 million reasons for close ties – the number growing everyday- Filipino-Americans on both nations shores whose existence is reason for ties that go beyond bilateral diplomatic or political issues.
So are there US troops fighting in Mindanao’s hinterlands… hard to say – the best guess is there might be. But the educated response is, what for? All the Philippine Military needs is material support – they don’t really need boots on the ground who don’t know their way around.

The Philippine military may not have the high tech gear and weapons – but they do have the skills to do the job. Also they have a good track record in counter insurgency and counter terrorism. When they have the resources to carry out those missions – which the US government is providing.

I doubt beyond occasional ‘ride-along’ US forces engage in more than ‘armed observation’ so the reports above need more than just statements -pictures, video, ‘proof positive’ otherwise it is only rumor and innuendo. Then perhaps one can discuss clearly what has occurred and what steps need to be taken from there if laws have been violated.

As one US diplomat told me he live in a ‘Dammed if they do or don’t’ situation. I do know of one well known joint operation where US troops did take part. There is even video of this – a event that happened off-shore. The US forces helped provide intel and transportation to a special forces unit of the Philippine and night vision gear and capability to get rid of a man whose actions killed hundreds. Abu Sabaya – speaking to unit members who took part in the actual operation that took him out. US force provided critical real time tracking, transportation, and, support that led to his death in shootout while he tried to escape a dragnet. If groups are protesting that kind of action coordination to go after a known terrorist like Sabaya – then perhaps they should declare so and lets se what people will have to say about them then and perhaps they ought to do that in Isabella, Basilan.

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Entry filed under: 911, abu sayyaf, al qaeda, Arroyo, ASEAN, ASEAN counter terrorism, asia, fil-am, Filipino, filipino-american, Guam, jakarta, Jemaah Islamiah, JI, Makati, Manila, news, News and politics, News Of China, OFW, protests, Rants, Raves, Whathaveyou..., republican, USA, war, war on terror, web slows down.

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