Author Richard Solomon is a conflicts and crisis management lawyer with 50 years of experience in business development, antitrust and franchise law, management counseling and dispute resolution including trials and crisis management.
The situation in the Philippines did not arise this past week, but is the product of a substantial deterioration of circumstances. Now it has made the front page due to the unfortunate conduct of its president.
TAMERLANE PROJECTS has had the Philippines on its watch list for some time. Now is perhaps an appropriate time for its assessments to go public.
The Philippines enjoyed a lengthy period of relative stability for many years following World War II, except for some more remote islands that never came completely under the administrative control of the central government. These islands were the operations center for Communist/Anarchist rebel movements seeking overthrow but never having the ability to do anything other than resist locally. The main body of government functioned in an acceptably competent manner, through its trials and tribulations, until recently.
Now the Philippines is in a state of impending collapse, assisted in major part by an administration that has completely failed.
Due to its strategic position in the Pacific, as well as the fact that the United States long ago “adopted” the Philippines, it may be expected that the US now has contingency plans that are well advanced to counter the tempting circumstances of other major powers with covetous eyes.
The state of impending collapse of the government suggests what would pass for civil war, aided and abetted by competing international interests seeking to be the dominating influence upon restoration of “normal” functioning government. Those are US, Russia, China and Japan.
All these powers have already infiltrated the Philippines with substantial intelligence resources plus “advisors” and financing. It is a race to undermine each other’s client constituencies.
Suffice it to say that travel to the Philippines at this time would be highly inadvisable and emergency only. Any thought of business investment there would be likely to fail in the very near future, even if it succeeded in being able to establish some embryonic operating position.
We have long thought mainly of the Middle East in terms of super power conflict interests. In that distraction, public attention has been oblivious to what is happening in the far Pacific. Both US political parties have stayed away from discussing the Philippines because today’s description may well become tomorrow’s embarrassment. Nonetheless, it is now thrusting itself to center stage. The next US President will have this to deal with almost immediately. It is an about to explode bomb unlikely to be defused.