“We are now updating our alliance and all of our alliances in the region with three guidelines in mind,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recently in Manila while commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty. “First, we are working to ensure that the core objectives of our alliances have the political support of our people. Second, we want our alliances to be nimble, adaptive, [and] flexible so they can continue to deliver results in this new world. And third, we are making sure that our collective defense capabilities and communication infrastructure are operationally and materially capable of deterring provocation from the full spectrum of state and non-state actors.”
The Manila Declaration, which the U. S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario signed on November 16th, reaffirms that the United States-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty remains the foundation for the bilateral relationship, and sets forth a shared vision for strategic, political, economic, and people-to-people cooperation.
The Manila Declaration stated that the United States and the Philippines’ abiding friendship has been forged by a history of shared sacrifice and common purpose, and enriched by the presence in the US of over four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans, and in the Philippines by over 150,000 Americans, who help shape the political and economic future of both countries.
“We expect to maintain a robust, balanced, and responsive security partnership including cooperating to enhance the defense, interdiction, and apprehension capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” the Manila Declaration notes. “We are determined to continue our bilateral cooperation in addressing broader regional and global challenges, including maritime security and threats to security such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and transnational crime . . . We share a common interest in maintaining freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce, and transit of people across the seas and subscribe to a rules-based approach in resolving competing claims in maritime areas through peaceful, collaborative, multilateral, and diplomatic processes within the framework of international law.”
“Our common values, commitment to democracy and the rule of law, robust economic relationship, and strong people-to-people ties will continue to ensure that our partnership remains strong and vibrant well into the future,” the Manila Declaration concludes. “With an enduring history of shared sacrifice and common purpose, the people and governments of our two countries will act together to build a better and more prosperous world for future generations.”