‘It was an imperative for our disruptive northern neighbor to be forewarned of the significance of our mutual defense treaty alliance’
We, at the Stratbase ADR Institute Incorporated, fully welcome the official US statement that, “As the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, any armed attack on Philippine forces, aircraft, or public vessels in the South China Sea would trigger mutual defense obligations under Article 4 of our Mutual Defense Treaty.”
This, we view as one of the most important statements made in the many decades since the Mutual Defense Treaty was ratified in 1951.
It behooved the Filipinos to finally be provided this specific assurance which we rightly deserve.
It was also necessary for the US to strengthen, to reinforce, and to be more specific about its security commitment in light of the escalating situation.
It was furthermore an imperative for our disruptive northern neighbor to be forewarned of the significance of our mutual defense treaty alliance.
Under the Trump administration, it was moreover timely and strategic for the US to send a clear message to all its allies of the full intention and quality of its security guarantees.
Worldwide, it should be received as a positive and credible statement of US foreign policy that reaffirms its strong adherence to the rule of law.
No need to review the MDT
We entirely concur with the decision not to review the MDT given this official assurance that the US will defend the Philippines against any attack in the South China Sea.
Foregoing an official review of the MDT will avoid difficult challenges for us. It would, for example, serve the purpose of preventing our powerful northern neighbor from interfering in our internal affairs by promoting its unlawful expansion agenda in the South China Sea.