February 28, 2007

JUST KEEP WINNING:

US troops in Philippines defy old stereotype: In southern islands, the US has helped the Philippine Army for more than five years to stem Muslim insurgency. (Simon Montlake, 3/01/07, The Christian Science Monitor)

One measure of the US approach can be found on Basilan, where US troops first deployed in 2002. At the time, the extremist group Abu Sayyaf had turned the island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Zamboanga, into a no-go zone with a string of abductions, bombings, and beheadings.

Commander Steve Kelley, a naval engineering reservist, says it was a tough mission. "It wasn't a warm welcome," he recalls. But humanitarian projects, including the construction of an 80- kilometer (50-mile) coastal road and a series of mobile clinics, won residents over. "It was a huge turnaround," he says. Local officials say the improved security has restored normalcy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 28, 2007 8:45 PM
Comments

Whupty-doo. The Moros don't like the Americans. Will wonders never cease.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 1, 2007 12:49 PM
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