As a victim of terrorism and the strongest supporter of U.S. counterterrorism policy among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines already plays a vital role in preserving American security.
With anti-Americanism on the rise in South Korea and Japan, the United States may need to depend more on the Philippines to fulfill its objectives in Asia. This Council Special Report assesses the political, economic, and strategic situation in the Philippines following the 2004 elections and recommends steps that the United States and the Philippines should take to strengthen their economic and military ties.
Author Catherine E. Dalpino is a former deputy assistant secretary of state in consultation with experts on the Philippines, U.S. and Filipino officials, and business leaders. Her report acknowledges the economic improvements made under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but warns that the country faces serious challenges on several fronts: securing long-term economic viability and social stability; competing in the global economy, maintaining internal security, and defending itself against growing transnational threats. Dalpino encourages the United States to support efforts to move the Philippines toward greater political stability and economic prosperity. She recommends several steps, including promoting efforts to curb widespread corruption and improving economic and social conditions among the Philippines’ Muslim population.