DOI: 10.17721/2521-1706.2020.09

Nataliya Gorodnia

ORCID: 0000-0001-8152-3927

Dr. habil. (History), Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine


This paper describes and discusses the major developments in the U.S.-Philippines security relations in 1991-2016, between signing an agreement to extend a rent of Subic Bay Naval base by the U.S. and inauguration of R. Duterte administration. The research has revealed three periods in the U.S.-Philippines security relations in 1991-2016. The first period started when the Philippines senate rejected to ratify the Subic Bay Agreement in September 1991, and the United States had to evacuate the naval base on November 1992. It lasted until the U.S. and the Philippines signed a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in 1998. The Philippines government’s interest in reaching a new agreement was caused by China’s 1995 military occupation of the Panganiban reef and other incidents at the disputed territories in the South China Sea. The Philippines claimed that they composed a part of their exclusive economic zone, according to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The second period lasted since ratification of the VFA by the Philippines parliament in 1999 until
aggravation of the situation in the South China Sea in 2011. This period was featured by enhanced political and military cooperation between the U.S. and the Philippines, and significant U.S. assistance in modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). In September 2001–2006, the security cooperation was focused on the counterterrorism activitiesin the  Philippines by military means. In 2007–2011, the focus shifted to humanitarian operations and development assistance. During the third period, in March 2011 – June 2016, B. Aquino administration refocused attention from domestic security issues to the threats in the South China Sea. In 2014, the Philippines and the U.S. signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which provided American ships, aircrafts and military personnel with an access to several military bases of the AFP on a rotating basis. The Agreement essentially improved U.S. strategic position in the Southeast Asia and the South China Sea.

Key words: the United States, the Philippines, U.S.–Philippines security relations, the South China Sea dispute.

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