The folly of the national security state ideology
THE Philippines is an archipelagic country and yet we have an archaic navy and a non-existent air force. We are incapable of defending our 7,100 islands from foreign aggression or bullying akin to what is happening now in Panatag Reef (Scarborough Shoal).
Common sense dictates that we should have a credible navy and air force because of our country’s topography, but our U.S. trained military planners, self-serving politicians and technocrats, were taught otherwise. They were apparently indoctrinated to believe that it is better to have a comparatively bigger and better army in relation to the other military services to ensure the survival of a friendly status quo.
This unusual military formation was the result of the hook line and sinker adoption of the U.S. National Security State (NSS) ideology while the government was battling strong local insurgencies first led by the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas in the 1950’s and later the Communist Party of the Philip-pines.
These cadres of NSS ideologues saw the rebellions only as part of the battle for world supremacy between the capitalist and communist systems. They narrowly perceived it as an element of the tug-of-war between the capitalist group led by the U.S. and the communist camp directed by the Union of Soviet and Socialist Republics (now the Russian Federation) and the People’s Republic of China.
The local rebellions were never considered to be the result of social injustice and the inequitable distribution of wealth. Our country became just one of the U.S. dominated chain of nations in the Pacific from Japan to Australia containing the “expansion of communism” in Asia.
Considering the mass appeal of the rebels and their cause, the NSS ideologues decided that only a military solution led by the army was the only acceptable response to the insurgency. This core position, unfortunately, is still holding sway until today thus the mediocre attempts to reform the system lest it become too much accountable to the public.
Because of the unthinking adherence of our economic, political and military leaders to the NSS they have adopted and pursued a military doctrine not suited to our country. Thus from having a professional, credible and respected military force in Southeast Asia after WWII, it is now considered the weakest and most incapable to mount any real military operation. It also became the oppressor of its own people.
We are thus forced to rely on diplomacy to settle our disputes with neighboring countries. But diplomacy has its limitations especially if we are without a credible military force to back it up and when we are up against a determined bully.
It has been repeatedly proven through the centuries that diplomacy works only when it can be backed up with force. We cannot work on carrots alone, we also need the stick.
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