The Cato Institute’s Doug Bandow calls into question America’s interests in defending the Philippines.
The Philippines needs America far more than America needs the Philippines. Manila spends less than 1 percent of its gross domestic product on its military and its best ships are U.S. cast-offs. It doesn’t help defend the United States from anyone.
Rather, Manila expects Washington’s protection even though the archipelago matters little for the United States. America retains the Pacific as a barrier and faces no serious threats to its homeland.
Insisting on defending the Philippines irrespective of its actions is particularly dangerous. Manila relies on American support rather than its own military in confronting China and could drag the United States into a conflict easily.
President Duterte is not a reliable ally. The United States should not allow such an unpredictable regime to be a trigger for war.