Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Second Front

Al Jazeera has a bunch of great pics along with this article:
The 'War on Terror' rages in the Philippines
In 2002, the US launched Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines; nine years later, the campaign there continues.

As violence between insurgent groups, local governments and American troops still rages in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States continues to sponsor local military missions to combat "terrorism" in dozens of countries encompassing every major region of the world. The so-called Global War on Terror, now entering its tenth year, has become a military behemoth that accounts for the majority of US defense spending.

In the Philippines, a staunch US ally that receives most of its military funding and training from the US, the Pentagon launched Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines - part of a military effort linked with the main Operation Enduring Freedom mission in Afghanistan - to fight "terrorist insurgent groups" in 2002.

Although the military describes its mission in the Philippines as a success, nearly ten years later, the results are devastating. All-out wars against the Muslim separatist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the communist guerilla group New People's Army (NPA) and the Islamist insurgent group Abu Sayyaf have left a trail of destruction across rural areas of the country.

While the American military argues that its presence has been a stabilising factor in the southern Philippines, wars between the government and insurgents continue with killings on a near-daily basis. And although the Philippine constitution prohibits foreign troops from participating in combat operations in the country, joint operations in war zones are often labeled military "exercises" to avoid controversy.

Nearly ten years after the initial troop deployment some 600 American special operations forces remain in the country, and will likely stay there for the foreseeable future.
-Al Jazeera