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Considerations for Secretary Reyes Meeting With Secretary Powell

Considerations for Secretary Reyes Meeting With Secretary Powell

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Published by Gene Gregorio
Recommendations and briefing from agency to client (Dept. of National Defense) on upcoming meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell. (August 2002)
Recommendations and briefing from agency to client (Dept. of National Defense) on upcoming meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell. (August 2002)

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Published by: Gene Gregorio on Apr 04, 2011
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Considerations for SND Reyes Meeting with Secretary Powell
The GRP may consider the pursuit of the following defense and securityobjectives:1. To continue to build political support in the US and the Philippines forstrengthened bilateral defense cooperation and to continue to position thegovernment of PGMA as a strong US partner in the global campaignagainst terrorism.2. To chart a stronger mutually beneficial security and defense relationshipwith US.3. To reiterate the importance of U.S. security interests in Asia-Pacific, andparticularly in Muslim states of Southeast Asia where Al-Qaeda operativesmay be establishing a foothold. Secretary Powell’s visit to Asia willgenerate extensive media coverage in the United States, and his publiccomments while in Manila will give credibility to the importance of thebilateral military relationship.4. To continue to position the country as providing regional leadership onterrorism issues through both bilateral and ASEAN initiatives.The following are specifics issues and themes during the Powell visit to Manila:
Must-be-raised Issues by PGMA or SND
Define the success of the current RP-U.S. joint exercises and expressgratitude for the security assistance and training, and lay down new,obtainable goals and objectives for a second phase of bilateral exercises tobegin in October 2002. State that the recent SONA of PGMA stressed thatour “strategic relationship with the US shall be enhanced through continuingtraining exercises to sharpen our soldiers’ capabilities to move andcommunicate, to fix and finish off their targets.”(Media coverage in the United States and in the Philippines has offered a mixedrecord of accomplishments for the exercises and training operations to date. It isimportant that both governments establish the tangible achievements of theBalikatan.)
Define what is at stake in further developing the Philippine-U.S. militaryrelationship for the Philippines, the United States and for broader Asia-Pacificsecurity. The Philippines has become a theatre of operations in East Asia forthe global campaign against terrorism. It will remain so even as the armed
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2forces are successful in capturing or killing individual terrorist leaders. LikeAmerica’s fight against Al-Qaeda, this is a long-term campaign. Thus, there isa need for a sustained defense cooperation with the US.
Remind Secretary Powell that the Philippines responded early in the wake ofSeptember 11 by offering the Bush Administration broad logistical andoperational support during Operation Enduring Freedom – in the face ofdomestic criticism and concern. This response has also included a moreaggressive targeting of Philippine-based terrorism organizations like the AbuSayyaf Group.
Reiterate the need for expanded U.S. military assistance for the Philippines,and the role this support will play in modernizing the Armed Forces of thePhilippines (AFP) and improving its professionalism and operationalcapabilities. Urge Secretary Powell and the U.S. State Department to activelylobby in support of both the FY2002 supplemental appropriation and the BushAdministration’s proposed FY2003 assistance package currently beingconsidered in the U.S. Congress.
PGMA can state the strong need of the AFP to have the MLSA signed.Thedraft is being finalized. The signing of the MLSA should be a strong signal tothe US Congress of RP’s willingness to cooperate and to go the full distanceon the operational side of the anti-terror campaign. She can strongly claimthat RP is the US’ best ally to show the world that ASEAN is supporting themoptimally in their anti-terror campaign.
May-be-raised Issues
PGMA may encourage a post Balikatan RP-US cooperative socio-economicdevelopment program in Basilan. The US may wish to show the world thatonce there is security, development can take place. Basilan could be ashowcase for this principle, much more than Afghanistan. Eventually, wecould set up similar development sites in places where post- Balikatansecurity cooperation will be sustained.
PGMA can remind Powell that a new US engagement in the region shouldcover political, security, trade, economic, & development cooperation. The UScan take steps to boost development cooperation and remove protectionistmeasures in trade. Washington can help in the economic front by making theUS market serve as an engine for an export-driven growth.
PGMA can ask for a briefing on the status between nuclear rivals India &Pakistan. There are reports that in the event of a nuclear exchange, fallout
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3from the blast can affect RP in varying degrees depending on the time of theyear and prevailing winds.
Regional issues
Brief Secretary Powell on Philippine efforts to encourage regional cooperationon security and terrorism issues through both bilateral and multilateral efforts,including taking a leadership role in ASEAN. This includes the May 2002agreement signed between the Philippines and several of its ASEANneighbors, the enactment of new money laundering legislation and similarinitiatives.
Brief Secretary Powell on the need for continued U.S. cooperation andassistance on transnational crime issues that impact the Philippines andSoutheast Asia, including drug trafficking, piracy, smuggling, moneylaundering and arms trafficking. Discuss how these issues undermine thedevelopment of democracy and economic development in the Philippines andacross the region.
Discuss cooperative initiatives that could be part of the agenda at thisyear’s United Nations General Assembly in New York, the annual WorldBank and IMF meetings in Washington and the Asia-Pacific EconomicCooperation (APEC) economic leaders meeting in Mexico.
Other issues
Remind Secretary Powell that there exists several outstanding bilateral issuesrelating to Philippine-U.S. military relations that must be addressed byWashington – beyond the issue of future joint exercises. These include (1) theneed for the U.S. to meet its benefits obligations to surviving Filipinos whofought alongside American troops in World War II; (2) the Spratley Islandsterritorial dispute with China; and (3) the need for U.S. economic assistancefor poverty-stricken areas of the Philippines that could become futurerecruiting grounds for terrorism.
Brief Secretary Powell on PGMA’s economic and fiscal policies that havebeen responsible for low inflation, a stable currency, a return of moderate

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