Kasarinlan: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies, Vol 18, No 1 (2003)

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The Philippines: The Weak State and the Global War on Terror

Herman Joseph S. Kraft

Abstract


The Philippines is clearly one of the principal “front-line” states with Southeast Asia’s identification as the second front of the “global war on terror.” Its participation in and strong support for this campaign was commended strongly in the international stage especially by the government of the United States. At the same time, however, this policy was received with mixed feelings within the country itself. There are strong and legitimate fears that the Philippine government’s support for the United States places the stability of the country over the short- to medium-term in jeopardy. This is particularly important as the international campaign against terror has come at an inopportune time. The Philippines is currently facing multi-faceted challenges that the government is unable to address because it cannot mobilize the requisite economic and political resources. Terrorism is not the main cause of the persistent instability in the Philippines. The growth and persistence of terrorism in the country, in fact, is indicative of the weak Philippine state.

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