Photo: Wikipedia Commons
With the U.S. moving the majority of its naval fleet to the Pacific, commanders are eagerly looking for invitations to park the planes and ships that will be pouring into the region.Travis Tritten at Stars and Stripes reports that the Pentagon has apparently been fanning the old flame of friendship with the Philippines and will be re-opening two bases it left in 1991 — Subic Bay and Clark Air Base.
The U.S. had a falling out with the island nation in the early nineties and pulled out of the bases, which were then built-up by a series of private developers and builders. How useful what’s left is a matter of debate, but the locations used to be major centres of operation for American forces in the Pacific.
Clark Air Base and its military reservation are 244 square miles of land that played a vital role for the U.S. during the Vietnam war and is capable of hosting the largest of America’s military aircraft.
Subic Bay played an even greater role in U.S. operations and until the withdrawal in 1991 it was the largest American overseas military base in the world. The waters at Subic Bay should have no problem hosting U.S. submarines and the largest of naval ships.
The Philippines has been embroiled in a major dispute with China in the nearby Spratley Islands and Beijing is unlikely to be happy with this news.
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