Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Conclusion

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Conclusion

Article excerpt

The security of the Philippine archipelago has become a major thrust of Philippine foreign and defence policy under the Ramos administration. Reflecting the change in emphasis from domestic to international security, the principal challenges are identified as the preservation of territorial integrity, the protection of maritime resources, and ensuring peace and stability in the immediate maritime surroundings. The new post-Cold War strategic environment, with changing relationships among the big players of the region --- the United States, China, and Japan --- introduced uncertainties and new challenges for the smaller players, the Philippines included. The entry into force of UNCLOS also brought in a new dimension to the already complex layers of maritime sovereignty disputes. The growing military capability of many countries in the region was an additional source of anxiety.

The AFP has drawn up a modernization plan, but given present resources its objectives are quite modest and designed essentially to address low-level threats to security such as smuggling, piracy, and small-scale territorial incursions. The AFP has also tried to diversify its co-operative partnerships and sources of logistic support, with expected gains only for the long term. Modernization efforts, moreover, will be delayed --- possibly even derailed --- by competing economic demands resulting from the current regional financial crisis. …

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