Clinton in the Philippines

Hillary Clinton, Nov. 12, 2009 | TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images Secretary Clinton is in the Philippines today, where she has expressed support for the country’s efforts to fight Islamist militants and recover from three massive storms that struck in the last six weeks. She visited a flood-stricken high school (seen in the photos above and below) in Marikina, east ...

577057_091112_ClintonPhilippinesGirls2.jpg
577057_091112_ClintonPhilippinesGirls2.jpg

Secretary Clinton is in the Philippines today, where she has expressed support for the country's efforts to fight Islamist militants and recover from three massive storms that struck in the last six weeks.

She visited a flood-stricken high school (seen in the photos above and below) in Marikina, east of Manila. There, she announced a $5 million in U.S. relief aid, in addition to the $14 million that has already been provided, to help with recovery from the devastating storms.

Hillary Clinton, Nov. 12, 2009 | TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, Nov. 12, 2009 | TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary Clinton is in the Philippines today, where she has expressed support for the country’s efforts to fight Islamist militants and recover from three massive storms that struck in the last six weeks.

She visited a flood-stricken high school (seen in the photos above and below) in Marikina, east of Manila. There, she announced a $5 million in U.S. relief aid, in addition to the $14 million that has already been provided, to help with recovery from the devastating storms.

One sensitive issue Clinton addressed during her visit was the several hundred U.S. military personnel who are in the Philippines to advise and train Filipino troops on counterinsurgency (al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants are present in some parts of the country). Many leftist and nationalist Filipinos want the U.S. forces out.

At a news conference with Filipino Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo, Clinton said, “I would just reiterate that the United States stands ready to assist our friends in the Philippines who are seeking to counter terrorism and the threat of extremism. … And we will be willing to support them in any way that is appropriate that they request. But the relationship between our countries and between our militaries is very strong and cooperative, and we look forward to continuing that.”

The Filipino foreign minister stressed that U.S. troops are not involved in combat in the Philippines and just “assist, advise, and train.” He also pointed out that there is a humanitarian component to their presence, such as recent assistance with typhoon recovery. “They deployed military personnel, equipment, helicopters, boats, forklifts, and bulldozers to immediately assist our people,” he said.

Still, with the Philippines’ being a former colony of the United States, it’s easy to understand why many Filipinos bristle at the U.S. troop presence.

Hillary Clinton, Nov. 12, 2009 | TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, Nov. 12, 2009 | TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

Photos: TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.