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ISIS Is Pushing America and the Philippines Back Together

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27.06.2017

Sharing an enemy has a magical way of forcing estranged allies back into each other’s embrace. In many ways, this is exactly what is happening to bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States, as both nations grapple with the prospect of an Islamic State caliphate in Southeast Asia.

Throughout his first year in office, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte rarely missed a chance to lash out at Washington and promote his distinct “Asia for Asians” approach to foreign relations.

Yet, shortly after back-to-back high-profile visits to Beijing and Moscow, which were part of his broader pursuit of an “independent” foreign policy, the tough-talking Philippine leader confronted a full-scale siege of Marawi, the country’s largest Muslim-majority city, by hundreds of ISIS-affiliated fighters, led by the notorious Maute group.

To the horror of the Philippine government,

© The National Interest