Tuesday, December 17, 2013
US Boosts Support for Philippines Security Forces
The United States will provide the Philippines' security forces with $40 million in new assistance in part to help the country protect its territorial waters amid rising tensions with Chinaover disputes in the South China Sea, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday while urging all the nations involved to "lower the intensity."
The money, from a U.S. program known as the Global Security Contingency Fund, will be spent over three years and will be split between improving the Philippines Coast Guard's maritime security abilities and boosting counterterrorism capacity for the Philippines National Police in the nation's restive southern islands, where Washington has also backed a decade-long campaign against al-Qaida-linked local militants.
The new aid is intended to complement a $32.5 million assistance package, which Kerry announced Monday in Vietnam, that will help southeast Asian nations protect their territorial waters. Up to $18 million of that money will go to provide the Vietnamese Coast Guard with five new fast patrol boats.
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