U.S. - Philippines Cooperation On Terrorism: The Fight Against The Abu Sayyaf Group Since 9/11
Rivera, Carla P
The September 11, 2001 attacks marked a pivotal point in the U.S.-Philippine relationship in that it reinvigorated the bilateral relationship, which had become distant after the closing of the U.S. bases in the Philippines in 1992. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo immediately pledged the Philippines' support for President George W. Bush's global war on terror, and offered the U.S. the use of military bases in the Philippines. In turn, President Bush supported Arroyo's struggle with terrorism in the Philippines by providing military training, equipment, and financial assistance. With this help from the U.S., the Philippines was able to more effectively combat the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), an organization that has been terrorizing the Philippines since 1991 with its kidnapping of hostages, ransom demands, and some beheadings of its prisoners.The aim of this thesis is to trace the United States-Philippine response to the threat posed by the ASG. The scope of this thesis spans the period from 2001 to 2012, which covers both terms of the Bush Administration and the first three years of the Barack H. Obama Administration. In the Philippines, this period overlaps with the ten years in office of President Arroyo and the first two years of the Benigno S. Aquino Administration.The organization of this thesis is in six parts. Chapter I provides necessary information on the Philippines and on the U.S.-Philippine relationship to set the stage for the whole thesis. Chapter II gives an overview of the ASG, including its origins, ideology, and activities, as well as pre-2001 U.S.-Philippine efforts in dealing with the ASG. Chapter III discusses the U.S.-Philippine collaboration during the first term of the Bush Administration from 2001-2004 while Chapter IV traces their joint response to the ASG during Bush's second term from 2005-2008. Chapter V gives background information on Obama, and examines the present U.S.-Philippine policy against the ASG under Obama from 2009 to 2012, which coincides with the last year of Arroyo's presidency and the early years of the Aquino presidency. Chapter VI gives recommendations for more effective U.S.-Philippine operations against the ASG, and an assessment of bilateral efforts since 2001.
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