The current geopolitical landscape in the Indo-Pacific challenges states to continuously improve their defense capabilities to ensure a free and open region. The peace, security, and stability of the region lie in each state’s commitment to uphold and protect international laws, treaties, and policies in the promotion of a rules-based international order.
For its part, the Philippines remains committed to strengthen its defense capabilities by modernizing its military assets to secure its territorial integrity and contribute to the region’s security framework. The complex and evolving nature of internal and external challenges, particularly in the West Philippine Sea, require recalibrating defense strategies, capacitating of human resources, and capitalizing on existing and new security partnerships with like-minded allies such as the United States.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III during the latter’s visit to the Philippines in February 2023. The president underscored the importance of the alliance between the Philippines and the United States, with Secretary Austin elevating the alliance to the level of a “family.” Reiterating the strong partnership between the two countries, the Department of National Defense announced the designation of four additional locations under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed in April 2014. Furthermore, defense cooperation includes the conduct of joint sea patrols and the Balikatan military exercises in Ilocos Norte in April 2023. President Marcos Jr’s state visit to the United States is also expected this year.
In line with this, Stratbase ADR Institute, together with the US Embassy in the Philippines, hosted a hybrid town hall discussion entitled, “Modernizing Philippine Defense Capabilities and Elevating Security Partnerships”, which took place on 2 May 2023, Tuesday, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM (PHT).
Through this event, the Institute seeks to provide a platform for Filipino government officials, officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), diplomats, analysts, journalists, media practitioners, opinion-makers, academics, business personalities to share their assessments and recommendations on the future of the US-Philippine alliance.
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President and CEO, Stratbase ADR Institute
Building New EDCA Sites: Opportunities and Challenges in the Philippine Security Landscape
Gen. Emmanuel Bautista (Ret)
Former Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines
Enhancing Maritime Security Cooperation within the U.S.-Philippine Alliance
Mr. Brett Blackshaw
Political Counselor, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
Philippine Foreign Policy: Fostering Alliances and Partnerships with Like-Minded States
Dr. Renato de Castro
Trustee and Program Convenor, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professor, International Studies Department, De La Salle University – Manila
Leveraging Indo-Pacific Cooperation for a Rules-Based International Order
Major General Joaquin F. Malavet, USMC (Ret)
Former Director for Strategic Plans and Policy,
United States Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM)
Modernizing Defense Capabilities to Secure Territorial Integrity
Dr. Virginia Bacay Watson
Professor, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
Host & Moderator:
Dr. Chester Cabalza
President and Founder, International Development and Security Cooperation