“The Philippines: America’s Other War On Terrorism”

“A US covert war in the Philipines?”

The conflict is filled with other head-spinning contradictions.

U.S. soldiers here are barred from combat, except in self-defense. They maintain a low profile by operating from inside Filipino military bases. During August’s clashes, they were confined to their enclaves at the request of the Manila government, to avoid any perception that Americans were involved in the fighting — which could be a propaganda coup for the insurgents.

Secret military hardware shares cargo space on helicopters with gifts of plastic sandals emblazoned “Honor in Peace.” The Filipino military uses U.S. intelligence from unmanned drones and other devices to pinpoint the enemy in a land of mountainside jungles and vast flooded marshes. Sometimes it holds its fire to avoid civilian casualties that would undermine the effort.


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