Posted on

Duterte’s Open Alliance with Russia Follows Marcos’ Ideology


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who vows to bring back the dignity, identity, and self-reliance of Filipinos forged an open alliance with Russia. Despite not realigning any foreign policy with the new alliance yet, Russian warships already visit the country.

Youtube video by; 24Oras Nakatutok
[VIDEO]: JUST IN! Two Russian Navy Warships Arrive In Manila!

Marcos’ Foreign Policy

The Marcos years, from 1965 to 1986, show relevant policy innovations. The late President Ferdinand Marcos redefines foreign policy as the safeguarding of territorial integrity and national dignity. He spearheads “Asianness”. In 1967, the Philippines launches a regional association with other Southeast Asian countries called the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN. The Philippines also normalizes economic and diplomatic ties with China and the USSR or Russia.

Duterte is not into Rating

Duterte welcomes investment and undermines rating agency Standard poor concerns about the Philippine economy under his watch. He opens up to Russia for business, alliances of trade and commerce. The peso recently drops to its lowest since 2009, and foreign investors have dump local shares for six straight weeks. But Duterte’s 8 out of 10 Filipinos trust rating allows him to do what is right according to his own discretion.

US-Philippines Ties Remain Strong

State Department spokesman Mark Toner says that the U.S. cooperation with the Philippine government remains strong and the United States has not seen anything that would indicate a shift by Manila, Toner said at a daily news briefing.

Military and Economic Collaboration

Duterte is confident that his country could ask Russia for military support, including arms purchases, in lieu of the U.S. Mikhailov also said that Russia would look to increase involvement in the South China Sea. This is where the islands and shoals are subject to competing claims from China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brunei.

Posted on

North Korea Nuclear Threat: US to suffer Beyond Imagination Consequences

North Korea nuclear

welcome By: Elena Grace Flores

North Korea went on the offensive Friday. It blasts the US for “aggression” in Asia. Washington is being blamed for its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Thus, threatening back the US with “tremendous consequences beyond imagination,” referring to the North Korea nuclear dsplay of power.

North Korea

No other Choice

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea “had no other choice but to go nuclear.” Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the UN General Assembly. Allegedly to defend itself “from the constant nuclear threats from the United States.”

Test of most powerful rocket

Ri’s comments came as the US and Asian nations gathered in New York Friday. They are given a fresh reminder of what they consider the gravest threat facing the region. The North Korea nuclear announcement this week followed the news that it had successfully tested its most powerful rocket engine yet.

Triggered by US

The test Tuesday was followed by a US show of force, as the Pentagon on Wednesday flew two B-1B bombers alongside the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, setting the stage for US-South Korea joint military exercises in October that will include a simulated nuclear facility strike.

North Korea Tests

The heightened tensions, North Korea’s steady drumbeat of tests and its nuclear ambitions have put the region on edge and the Pentagon on notice.
“North Korea’s unpredictable behavior and capability development also continues to threaten allies and potentially the homeland,” Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday in Maryland. “It’s consumed an awful lot of time — I think it’s fair to say — of senior leadership’s time over the past few weeks.”

North Korean Minister Explains

The North Korean minister offered a through-the-looking-glass version of the same events. “Only a couple of days ago, the United States has again threatened the DPRK by flying the strategic bombers ‘B-1B’ over the military demarcation line on the Korean peninsula and landing in South Korea,” Ri said. “We will never remain onlookers at it and the United States will have to face tremendous consequences beyond imagination.”

John Kerry’s meet up

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry met Friday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly with foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a 10-member bloc dedicated to economic, political and security cooperation.

United States’ National Security

“The United States will do whatever is necessary to defend our own citizens and to honor our security commitments to our allies,” Kerry told the ASEAN meeting.
He called on allies to “vigorously” enforce sanctions against the isolated regime and urged ASEAN members to “ensure that the DPRK pays a price for its dangerous actions.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s call

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a blunt call for international action at the UN Wednesday. “Right before our eyes, North Korea is carrying out a plan which there can be no doubt,” Abe said. “There is no alternative but to say that the threat has now reached a dimension altogether different from what has transpired until now.”

Putting China on the spot

The perceived threat is changing regional dynamics, bringing old rivals Japan and South Korea closer together. It’s putting China on the spot as Washington pushes Beijing to do more to rein its ally in, even as tensions over the South China Sea complicate cooperation. And it will likely prompt a new international push for tougher sanctions, the likes of which were used to force Iran to the negotiating table.

That’s still unlikely to stop North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, experts said. Indeed, US officials and scientific experts expect another nuclear test as soon as early October.

North Korea’s perspective

“From North Korea’s perspective, it only makes sense to continue these tests and continue to develop these weapons until there’s a substantial shift in dialogue with the US,” said Alison Evans, a country risk senior analyst at the global consulting firm IHS.

“For North Korea, it’s the recognition that’s the important thing. It needs its status as a nuclear power to be recognized,” Evans said, adding that, “The leadership sees developing a nuclear deterrent as a guarantor of survival.”

South Korea show of force

US B-1 bombers fly over South Korea in its show of force US officials say the Pentagon is watching carefully for another nuclear test. Meanwhile, the Union of Concerned Scientists said there is some speculation that Pyongyang may try another satellite launch around October 10, the anniversary of the founding of its Worker’s Party of Korea.

North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January. In the ensuing months, it has followed that detonation with a total of 21 ballistic missile tests, including land- and submarine-based launches.

Pyongyang’s dual track of development

In May, North Korea’s 32-year-old leader Kim Jong-un made the country’s ambitions official, announcing that Pyongyang was on a dual track of developing nuclear weapons and the economy.

Pyongyang then staged its largest nuclear test yet on September 9, the anniversary of the DPRK’s founding in 1948.

Rocket launch

And Tuesday’s rocket launch was “substantially larger and more powerful than anything North Korea has tested before,” according to 38 North, a program devoted to analyzing North Korea at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

Testing will not make North Korea a nuclear state

All this testing is unlikely to win it the US recognition it craves, though.
After the more recent nuclear test, President Barack Obama made clear that “the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”
Obama said that the US would work with Asian allies, the UN Security Council and international partners to implement existing measures and “take additional significant steps, including new sanctions to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions.”

Presidential campaign

However, the rhetoric from the presidential campaign trail is a constant reminder that Obama administration will soon no longer calling the American shots on the issue.

Donald Trump’s meet up with Kim

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has held out the possibility of meeting with Kim in a dramatic break with US political conventions. He earned criticism for the remark, as well as for suggesting that South Korea and Japan should consider developing their own nuclear weapons.

“At some point, we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea,” Trump told Anderson Cooper at a CNN town hall in Milwaukee in March. “We’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself.”

Tokyo and Seoul Panic

The statements have rattled Tokyo and Seoul, and while Trump has said that China must play a stronger role in checking their neighbor and ally, his promise to play tough with Beijing on trade could also roll that effort.
The Republican candidate’s tough talk has only heightened the uncertainty surrounding American policy in the region and is likely to be something that US officials are asked to address in their consultations Friday.

Hillary Clinton’s softer approach on North Korea nuclear goals

Hillary Clinton has also articulated a strong stance on China, but is less likely to take the protectionist steps that could spark a trade war with the Asian power. On North Korea, specifically, she has emphasized ratcheting up US sanctions.

International sanctions levied in March after the January nuclear test were the first on North Korea to do more than target weapons development or luxury goods for the elite. They ban all weapons trade and require inspections of all cargo to and from the country, among other steps.

UN Sanctions

The international community could squeeze North Korea further by targeting the export of its resources, said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, echoing the way UN sanctions targeted Iran by banning the export of its oil.

Impact to the North Koreans

“That is a big step,” Klingner said, “it will impact the people of North Korea.”

China signed on for the March sanctions, but its officials have repeatedly said they believe sanctions are counterproductive and experts say China historically hasn’t thoroughly enforced them against North Korea. US tensions with China over the South China Sea could make it harder to cooperate.

China’s intention

Dunford said Wednesday that “China seeks to limit our ability to project power and to undermine the credibility of our alliances in the Pacific.”
The US can take additional unilateral steps to get tougher on Pyongyang, Klingner said, by sanctioning non-North Korean entities that act as an agent for the country — most likely Chinese entities and financial institutions.
In the meantime, US military officials are planning.



We are compliant in EU’s Cookie Policy:

Posted on

See how South Sudan leaders profit from deadly war

South Sudan

welcome By: Elena Grace Flores

Many suffer in war-torn countries. It is just heart-breaking to know that others profit from them. Not just minimal but a big deal.  Read this to understand better. Conflicts seem to be business ventures these days:

South Sudan’s warring leaders and their cronies have amassed fortunes while prosecuting a murderous conflict, a watchdog group, which counts George Clooney as a founder, says in a report.

The News

WASHINGTON DC, USA – South Sudan’s warring leaders and their cronies have amassed fortunes – including foreign properties and stakes in international firms – while prosecuting a murderous conflict, George Clooney charged Monday, September 12.

After presenting the results of a detailed two-year inquiry to the media, Hollywood stars Clooney and Don Cheadle stopped by at the White House to discuss the crisis with US President Barack Obama, a US official said.

South Sudan is the youngest country in Africa and support from the United States was instrumental in shepherding it into existence, but patience is running out with local leaders after it slipped back into civil war.

Latest Conflict

The latest bout of bloodshed erupted in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup and has already claimed tens of thousands of lives and forced many more to flee their homes.

United Nations experts have blamed both Kiir and Machar’s camps for reigniting the fighting and the world body is seeking to recruit forces for a stronger peace-keeping effort to protect civilians and aid workers.

Clooney on Web of Corruption

But the report by The Sentry – a watchdog group founded by Clooney and rights activist John Prendergast – goes further in detailing the web of corruption sustaining and motivating the predatory behavior of local leaders.

Appearing in Washington, Clooney accused the rival leaders of overseeing mass atrocity, starvation and rape “while plundering the state’s resources and enriching themselves and their families.”

Clooney Support

At his side, Prendergast warned that South Sudanese officials “no longer take seriously the threats made by the United Nations, by the United States and others to impose consequences for their behavior.”

The report gives a detailed breakdown, backed by research on the ground and through international business networks, of the looting and describes a conflict that degenerated into a battle of resources between corrupt gangs.

In addition to publicizing the allegations, The Sentry has passed its files to global enforcement bodies it hopes will use tools more normally used to go after organized crime or terror networks to punish the guilty.

Almost half of the population of South Sudan relies on food assistance for survival, and more than 800,000 South Sudanese have fled to neighboring countries as refugees.

War Sufferings

Countless villages have been burnt to the ground and human rights organizations say both government forces and Machar’s rebels frequently use rape as a weapon of war.

The report said that while the political rivalry is often blamed, the war’s “key catalyst” is actually a competition for the grand prize – control over state assets and the country’s abundant natural resources – between rival kleptocratic networks.

War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay

According to the report – entitled “War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay” – this form of “competitive corruption” has dominated South Sudan’s politics since long before the nation voted for independence in a 2011 referendum.

Both Kiir and Machar the report says, “benefit financially from the continuing war and have effectively ensured that there is no accountability for their human rights violations and financial crimes”.

Get Rich from War

Top officials’ families “often live in multi-million dollar mansions outside the country, stay in five-star hotels, reap the benefits of what appears to be a system of nepotism and shady corporate deals, and drive around in luxury cars – all while much of their country’s population suffers from the consequences of a brutal civil war, and in many places, experiences near-famine condition.”

It added that individuals and major firms outside South Sudan had facilitated the deadly corruption.

Status Quo Maintenance

Top officials, it alleged, “could not maintain the status quo without the system of international banks, businesses, arms brokers, real estate firms, and lawyers who, knowingly or unknowingly, facilitate the violent kleptocracy that South Sudan has become.”


We are compliant to EU’s Cookie Policy:

Posted on

US China War: All are losers as per Vietnam on South China Sea war

US China War

welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang said that no winners in any armed conflict sparked by territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The world eyes US China war.

Quang, who is on a state visit to Singapore, said that tensions are threatening regional security. The Vietnamese leader did not mention any country but there is growing unease over China’s actions. It is evident however that aside from the US, China has conflict with almost Asian neighbors.

China’s side of the story

China claims most of the South China Sea. It has reclaimed reefs and built airstrips capable of hosting military equipment, sparking anger from competing claimants led by Vietnam and the Philippines.

World interests

“The South China Sea, located at the heart of Southeast Asia, not only brings about many important benefits to nations in the region but it is also a vital route to maritime and air transport of the world,” Quang said.

Growing conflicts

But “recent worrying developments” there “have had a negative impact on the security environment of the region, especially maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation and overflight”.

“And should we allow instability to take place, especially in the case of armed conflicts, there will be neither winners or losers but rather all will lose,” he warned.

Tran was speaking to diplomats, academics and students at a forum organised by the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.

Neighbors in dispute

Four Southeast Asian states — Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam — as well as Taiwan have competing claims in the sea.

Vietnam has been among the most vocal critics of China’s blanket territorial claims. In 2014 China moved a controversial oil rig into contested territory, prompting riots in Vietnam.

US defense

China’s activities in the sea have also drawn criticism from the United States, which says it seeks to ensure freedom of navigation in the waterway through which $5 trillion in annual global trade passes.

The sea row has also driven a wedge between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has failed to forge a unified front against Beijing’s actions.

UN ruling

Last month the Philippines won a case against China at a UN-backed tribunal in the Hague which rejected Beiijing’s claims to most of the sea.

China boycotted the hearing and has refused to recognise the ruling.

The world is really watching China’s next move on the ruling and the following preparations are noted:

  • US alliance with Philippines
  • pact with India, on track with US
  • Indonesia shows resistance to China
  • Australia urges China to respect ruling

China on the other hand ignores all the above. It is seeking bilateral negotiations indeed that are not acceptable with the countries it has disputes with. Mind you, this is only on top of the US China war threat. So, what’s next if not war?



We are compliant to EU’s Cookie Policy:

Posted on

US War with China: Backed by India to strengthen the Americans and its Allies

US War with China

welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
The United States and India recently  signed a defense agreement with India. It is believed to startle Pakistan and China should US war with China breaks out. This answers CNN’s query; why the Indian leader is often seen in Washington. Here are the facts:

Logistics Exchange

The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) allows the two allies to use each other’s military facilities. This is for checking China’s growing influence in Asia and in the fight against terrorists.

Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar — in the US on a four-day visit, his second in eight months — will also carry forward talks on acquiring jet engine technology and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). He met US Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday.

The text for the logistics cooperation agreement was finalized during a visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington in June.

Security MOA

The US and India are also finalizing two foundational agreements — the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA).

The logistics agreement provides for each country to use the other for supplies, spare parts, services and refuelling. Effectively, US armed forces can operate out of Indian bases, and India can use US bases across the globe.

“China and Pakistan beware — this week, India and US sign major war pact,” warned the Forbes magazine in an article.

Media Strategy

The US media noted that the agreement was a key part of the Obama administration’s strategy to contain China, which has been spreading its influence across Asia.

The media reported that the US Navy planned to deploy 60 per cent of its surface ships in the Indo-Pacific in the near future.

The media reports pointed out that unlike Afghanistan and Iraq, where the US had to build everything from scratch, India already had the military facilities the United States could use when needed.

Worried about Russia

The Indian media, however, warned that such agreements could irk Russia, a long-time Indian ally. But Indian media reports also noted that Prime Minister Modi did not appear much concerned about Russia’s possible reaction to his closeness to the US. The Modi administration had committed itself to building a new alliance with the US and its allies, such as Japan and Australia, the reports added.

The US media noted that India remained on hostile terms with China and this hostility had moved from border disputes to economic and strategic competition for influence.

They noted that the US would like to use the LEMOA to counter China’s growing military might — particularly airbases — in the South China Sea. But the agreement would allow India and the US also to use each other’s facilities against their common enemy, religious terrorism.

Islamic Group Threat

The reports noted that a recent bombing by the militant Islamic State group in Bangladesh rang alarm bells in Washington where defense experts were already worried about its efforts to increase its influence in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Having LEMOA makes it much simpler for American naval and air forces to fight there. The US does not have actual bases in India. But, it has the next best thing — a simple way to use India’s bases,” Forbes noted.

The magazine described the LEMOA as “the key way-station on agreements still to come of military technology sharing of tremendous importance for India”.

The future agreements, like the CISMOA and BECA, would help India “stand up to the emerging superpower of China”, the report added.

India’s UAV technology

But experts warned that India’s ability to build jet engines or acquire UAV technology from the US would further weaken Pakistan’s conventional defence capability as well.

The United States already recognises India as a Major Defence Partner, helped it join the Missile Technology Control Regime and is willing to provide licences for top US defense technology.

Fight against Terrorists

The Forbes article noted that arms India acquired from the US would help it “in many friction points”, such as in the fight against terrorist groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed.

It pointed out that the group was considered an enemy both by the US and India and its chief Masood Azhar was on India’s hit list.

Earlier this year, India tried to persuade the United Nations to declare Mr Azhar a global terrorist but China blocked the move.

“So while the South China Sea may seem far off from India, China is breathing down India’s neck, up close and personal,” Forbes commented.

CNN’s Notes on the Indian Premier

  • President Barack Obama’s prophesy that India and the United States would form “one of the defining partnerships” of the 21st century.
  • At the very least, Modi deserves credit for generating an impressive amount of air miles. This week marks his fourth U.S. visit since assuming office in 2014. It is also the seventh time he has met Obama.
  • The clouds hanging over Modi’s reputation date back to 2002 when he was Chief Minister of the western state of Gujarat. More than a thousand Muslims were killed by rampaging Hindus in the final act of an ugly spate of riots. Human rights activists have long alleged that Modi was complicit; India’s courts have been unable to prove any truth to those claims.
  • U.S. officials denied Modi a visa in 2005 on the grounds of a little-used clause of the Immigration and Nationality Act barring foreign officials from entry if they were deemed responsible of what the Act calls “violations of religious freedom.”
  • When Modi became Prime Minister the clause was rendered irrelevant. The leader of the world’s biggest democracy was simply too important.

Allies come in different faces. A testimony that a once suspected to be enemy is actually a worthwhile friend.


We are compliant to EU’s Cookie Policy: