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Bridging the Gap: How PACOM and the Philippine Air Force can leverage the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to meet Strategic Needs in 21st Century Southeast Asia

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Technical Report

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Naval War College Newport United States

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During the 2011-2012 period, the Philippines did not possess a military capability to respond to Chinas aggressive acts toward its ships within its Exclusive Economic Zone during Chinas overt incursion on the Scarborough Shoal. This was the result of decades of deliberate focus on counter-insurgency and internal defense by the Philippine military. The Philippine Air Force was forced to neglect and then eliminate existing external defense capabilities. Recognizing the need for credible external defense, the Philippines signed the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement with the United States in 2014. This paper examines how US Pacific Command, as the United States lead military organization for the Philippines, can enhance cooperation with the Philippine Air Force towards three ends strengthen an ally militarily, increase regional security, and provide the United States with basing opportunities for potential security challenges in Southeast Asia. It also examines counter-arguments to the enhanced US-Philippine security partnership and provides recommendations for future actions.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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