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Southeast Asia heading for #Ukraine-style crisis amid #US militarization of #Philippines : Report

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Southeast Asia heading for #Ukraine-style crisis amid #US militarization of #Philippines

The creeping US militarization of the Philippines for use as a springboard for a conflict against #China is eerily reminiscent of similar US efforts against #Russia in Ukraine, former US Marine-turned-author, journalist and independent international observer Brian Berletic has told Sputnik.

“The Philippines was previously a US colony gaining independence only in 1945. Since then, the US has attempted to reassert political control over the country as well as maintain a large US military presence on its shores. The goal is to militarize the country and use it as part of a wider united front against China,” Berletic said, commenting on the massive Balikatan drills that kicked off on Monday.

“Exercises like Balikatan allow the US to shape the Philippines’ armed forces into a suitable proxy for a potential conflict with China,” the observer said. “Washington’s primary objective in the Asia-Pacific region is to encircle and contain China. To do this, the US is attempting to compromise the governments of nations along China’s periphery including the Philippines, establish a US military presence within their borders, and militarize these countries against China.”

In addition to allowing the US to move military assets “dangerously close to Chinese territory,” US activities in the Philippines are designed to take advantage of and artificially inflame regional maritime disputes, the observer believes.

“This will result in a similar crisis as seen in Europe where the US not only used Ukraine in a highly destructive proxy war against Russia, but also decimated Europe’s economy, and socio-political stability, and placed the entire region on the precipice of a US-driven war,” Berletic fears.