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Philippine Demand That U.S. Troops Leave is Possible Blow to U.S. Strategy in Region

USA Today reports that “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent demand that U.S. troops leave his country would be a major blow to America’s new strategy to counter China’s growing strength and influence in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“Duterte said in Tokyo last week that he wants foreign troops to exit the Philippines within two years, even though Manila is a longtime U.S. ally. That came on the heels of his visit to China last month and as President Obama aims to ‘pivot’ U.S. military, economic and diplomatic resources away from the Middle East to Asia.”

“As many as 600 U.S. troops are currently stationed in the Philippines, and at least two major training exercises involving American and other forces are held in the country each year.”