Thesis Title

Insurgency, Secession and Encroachment: Contemporary National Security in the Republic of the Philippines

Date of Graduation

Spring 2000


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


Strategically located near the latitudinal midpoint of the Asian Pacific Rim, the Republic of the Philippines has a unique historical relationship with the United States. Although Filiopino-American ties were weakened by the U.S. military base closures in 1992, the threat posed by an increasingly aggressive and expansionist People's Republic of China has caused the Philippine government to reconsider its military relations with the United States. Recurrent economic troubles have likewise revived the communist insurrection and the Muslim secessionist movement in the Philippines. Indeed, in June 1999, the Philippine Secretary of Defense was forced to restructure a planned military reorganization in order to focus on these internal threats. External security, however, remains based largely upon the Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines. This Thesis examines the present security threats facing the former American colony: the communist rebellion as it has progressed through various incarnations; the birth, legitimization, and splintering of the Muslim secessionist movement; the external threat posed by the People's Republic of China; and the Spratly Islands dispute. It also evaluates the new security relationship between the United States and the Philippines.


© Clifton W Sherrill