Philippine / US troops joint training for counter-insurgency, and for US-Pacific domination

[Though both the US imperialist and comprador Philippine governments describe “Balikatan” (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises as normal, routine, and “humanitarian,” they are actually part of more intense–and expanded–trainings for regional wars (which may challenge or extend the US’ hegemonic role, or China’s growing role) and for domestic Philippine counter-insurgency operations against rebel opposition, both communist and Islamic.  The pictures below express this very well.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Reuters, ‘Balikatan’ exercises
More than 4,000 American troops joined their Filipino counterparts for a series of military exercises in the West Philippine Sea,  an area that involves a territorial dispute that centers on a shoal not far from the Philippines’ main island of Luzon. The dispute centers on a group of islands known in the Philippines as Scarborough Shoal and recognized as Huangyan island in Chinese. Both Philippines and China have staked a claim on the islands, according to media reports.

U.S. soldiers inspect a Filipino soldier portraying a communist rebel killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

A U.S. soldier patrol past a boy during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

U.S. soldiers walk past Filipino soldiers portraying communist rebels killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

A U.S. soldier carries a Filipino soldier portraying a communist rebel killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

U.S. and Filipino soldiers take part in an urban combat drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

Filipino and U.S. soldiers conduct a patrol during an ambush drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

Filipino and U.S. soldiers take part in an ambush drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

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