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LAST week we asked the question why New Zealand only had 1,569 Reservist? Because they are in the remotest area of the globe, 900Km East of Australia. They were never visited by any war except the ones they volunteered to join overseas.
Under the principle of ‘Geography and History’, the Philippines is located where? The gateway to East Asia. The pathway to tens of billions of dollars in commercial/trade shipping routes. Dead-center of geo-political fault lines of two world powers. And finally, visited by trade and subjected to conquest since the Sung Dynasty since 960s; Arab traders 14th Century; Spanish Conquest in 1521; Pirate Limahong 1574; British in 1762-64; Americans in the 1898 Battle of Manila Bay, which as an aside, saw the presence of Japanese, French British and a German Flotilla of warships. The latter ready to take-over and claim the Philippines. One of the German warships under Prince Heinrich of Prussia had 1,400 soldiers.
Which prompted Admiral George Dewey to comment to Admiral Otto von Diederich, “If Germany wants war, all right we are ready”. If not for the British allying with the US at the time, we would have been a German protectorate. The Japanese Imperial invasion followed in WWII planned 1921 in Baden-Baden Germany. This is the reality of our Republic.
For an archipelago, we require an air force and a navy as first line of defense. How much is a random costing? An F-16 C/D – $47M dollars each; MIG 29K – $46.9M. A diesel submarine, German 212/Italian Todaro $371M. We can ill-afford this as of today! Hence, what are we rich with? To defend the islands based on the “concept of territoriality”? People. Building a ‘Reservist Force and the entire citizenry. ROTC must never be viewed as mere “military course”, but a reservist cadre system to build the national defense posture of the entire country.
Of late, I submitted a four-page single-line proposal on Reservist Affairs to the Defense Department e.g. 1) Basic ROTC renamed as Citizen’s Army Course/Training; 2) Rifle firing included in the Basic phase; 3) An appointed ROTC “Good Governance Advisor” – priest, or PTA Member, or Reservist Officer etc. (Erik Espina)