US' military pullout from South-east Asia unlikely: Analysts

End of pact with Manila may mean reduced presence but its ties to region still extensive

In a photo taken on April 20, 2015, Philippine soldiers and a US Army soldier take their positions during an air assault exercise inside the military training camp in Nueva Ecija province. PHOTO: AFP
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The move by the Philippines to end a longstanding defence pact with the United States would likely mean a reduced military presence in the region, said analysts interviewed by The Straits Times.

But the termination of the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) is unlikely to lead to a complete pullout, as US ties to South-east Asia remain extensive, they added. And any impact on Singapore would be minimal, given its strong defence relationship with the US.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 17, 2020, with the headline US' military pullout from South-east Asia unlikely: Analysts. Subscribe