Will the United States defend ally Philippines in case the islands nation is attacked by a foreign military? No matter what the skeptics may be saying, treaties and pacts are formed and aimed to benefit all parties involved. The Philippine-United States Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 shall be fully enforced for what it was in theory or otherwise what’s it to continue to exist for? The Treaty was signed between the United States and Philippine delegates in Washington D.C. on the 30th of August 1951. Under such Treaty, an attack against the Philippines by a foreign country, will be understood an attack against United States of America and vice versa.
The Philippines, considered by many military strategists and historians as America’s strategic and long-standing ally, will once again become a major hub for American troops and hardware aimed at keeping track of the stability and balance in the Asia-Pacific region as the two nations came up with a new deal by signing the 10-year Enhanced Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Former U.S. president Gerald Ford saw how important it was to keep maintaining the American presence among Asian allies and for the decades to come, during his Manila visit in December of 1975, as he was quoted as saying in one of his public speeches that “world stability and our own security depend upon our Asian commitments.”
Visiting U.S. president Barack Obama clearly stated in a speech he addressed during a state dinner with Philippines president Benigno Simeon Aquino at the Malacanang Palace that “through our treaty alliance, the United States has an ironclad to defend you, your security and your independence.” That should be understood a clear message to China should it continue with its expansionist program by grabbing lands of neighboring countries.
But whether the United States will actually defend the Philippines or not in case of an armed attack by a foreign country, the Philippine government must use such Treaties to its own advantage. It is not always good to let other people come to defend or fight for you, but rather you have got to find ways to defend yourself. There must be a massive military build-up, upgrade, and modernization to take place while these Treaties are still in effect. In that way, the Philippines is in a win-win situation: building up its external defense capability while, at the same time, protected by a Treaty.