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Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines
Part of Insurgency in the Philippines, War on Terrorism
SF Soldier in Philippines.jpg
Philippine and US soldiers
Date January 15, 2002 - ongoing
Location Mindanao, Philippines
Result Conflict ongoing
Belligerents
 Philippines
 United States (advisors)
Flag of Jihad.svg Jemaah Islamiyah
Flag of Jihad.svg Abu Sayyaf
Flag of Jihad.svg Rajah Sulaiman Movement
Flag of al-Qaeda.svg al-Qaeda
Strength
Philippines: 18,000[citation needed]
CAFGU Militias: unknown[citation needed]
United States: 600[1]
MILF: 13,000 [2]
Abu Sayyaf: 2,000[citation needed]
Jemaah Islamiyah: 200-300[3]
Casualties and losses
17 U.S. soldiers killed
(3 killed in action)[4]
2 Filipino soldiers killed (while assisting U.S. troops)[5][6]
100+ killed in one battle [7]
Causes:
Islamic insurgency in the Philippines,
September 11, 2001 attacks

Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines (OEF-P) is part of Operation Enduring Freedom and the U.S. Global War on Terrorism.[8] About 600 U.S. military personnel are advising and assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Southern Philippines.[1] In addition, the CIA has sent its elite paramilitary officers from their Special Activities Division to hunt down and kill or capture key terrorist leaders.[9] This group has had the most success in combating and capturing Al-Qaeda leaders and the leaders of associated groups like Abu Sayyaf.[9]

Special Operations Command-Pacific (SOCPAC) troops are the core of Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines (OEF-P), an operation which supports the Government of the Republic of the Philippines counterterrorism efforts. With U.S. advice and training, the AFP and civilian authorities have improved their ability to coordinate and sustain counterterrorism operations. U.S. and Philippine forces have also worked together under the new Security Engagement Board framework – the primary mechanism for consultation and planning regarding non-traditional security threats – to complete humanitarian and civil assistance projects and improve living conditions in the southern Philippines. As a result of their combined efforts, support for terrorists has waned markedly.

Deployment first began January 2002 and involved more than 1,200 members of United States Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC), headed by Brig. Gen. Donald C. Wurster. SOCPAC's deployable joint task force HQ, Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510), directed and carried out the operation.[10]

The mission was to advise the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating terrorism in the Philippines.[11] Much of the mission (Exercise Balikatan 02-1) took place on the island of Basilan, a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf.

Contents

Mission

The mission of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in the Philippines (JSOTF-P) is

[T]o support the comprehensive approach of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in their fight against terrorism in the southern Philippines. At the request of the Government of the Philippines, JSOTF-P works alongside the AFP to defeat terrorists and create the conditions necessary for peace, stability and prosperity.[12]

Combatants

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Armed Forces of the Philippines

Elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are deployed in Mindanao to deal with Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. This deployment is controversial because of the presence of U.S trainers.[13]

United States Armed Forces

The United States has provided the Philippine government with advisors, equipment and financial support to counter Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah.[14]

Timeline of American Casualties

On February 21, 2002, the largest loss of life for U.S. forces occurred when 10 soldiers were killed after their MH-47 crashed at sea in the southern Philippines.[15]

On October 2, 2002, a bombing at an open-air market outside the gate of Camp Enrile Malagutay in Zamboanga killed a U.S. special forces soldier.[16] One Filipino soldier and one civilian were also killed, and 21 people were wounded including one U.S. and two Filipino soldiers.[17][18]

On June 30, 2004, a U.S. special forces soldier was killed in a non-hostile incident in Manila.[19]

On October 14, 2005, a U.S. special forces soldier was killed in a non-hostile incident in Makati City.[20]

On February 15, 2007, a U.S. Marine was killed in a non-hostile incident in Jolo.[21]

On October 27, 2007, a U.S. special forces soldier was killed in an accidental drowning incident at Lake Seit in the southern Philippines.[22]

On September 29, 2009, a roadside bomb killed two Special Forces Operators[23] and a Philippine Marine on Jolo island.[24] Three other Philippine service members where injured in the blast. It was initially reported that the two U.S. casualties were Seabees.[1]

Abu Sayyaf

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is deemed a "foreign terrorist organization" by the United States government. Specifically, it is an Islamist separatist group based in and around the southern islands of the Republic of the Philippines, primarily Jolo, Basilan, and Mindanao.

Since inception in the early 1990s, the group has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion in their fight for an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, with a claimed overarching goal of creating a Pan-Islamic superstate across the Malay portions of Southeast Asia, spanning, from east to west, the large island of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago (Basilan and Jolo islands), the large island of Borneo (Malaysia and Indonesia), the South China Sea, and the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand and Burma).

The name of the group is Arabic for Father (Abu) of the Sword (Sayyaf).

Jemaah Islamiyah

Jemaah Islamiyah is a militant Islamic terrorist organization dedicated to the establishment of a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy in Southeast Asia, in particular Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, the south of Thailand and the Philippines.

Jemaah Islamiyah is thought to have killed hundreds of civilians and is suspected of having executed the Bali car bombing on October 12, 2002 in which suicide bombers killed 202 people, mostly Australian tourists, and wounded many in a nightclub. After this attack, the U.S. State Department designated Jemaah Islamiyah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Jemaah Islamiyah is also suspected of carrying out the Zamboanga bombings, the Rizal Day Bombings, the 2004 Jakarta embassy bombing and the 2005 Bali terrorist bombing.

Financial links between Jemaah Islamiyah and other terrorist groups, such as Abu Sayyaf and al-Qaeda, have been found to exist.[25] Jemaah Islamiyah means "Islamic Group" and is often abbreviated JI.

Balikatan training exercises

The Balikatan training exercises are a part of OEF - Philippines which is mainly a series of joint training exercises between the Philippines and the United States. These training exercises are mainly taking place in Mindanao, the Spratly Islands, Tarlac, and other parts in the Philippines. The Balikatan training exercises are focused on joint training and counter-terrorist training aimed on strengthening relations between the Philippines and the United States. The Balikatan training exercises are also aimed on training Philippine forces to fight the Abu Sayyaf, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.[13]

There have been allegations in the Philippine press and elsewhere that visiting forces from the United States appear to have become a permanent fixture in the landscape of Zamboanga City and other crisis-torn parts of Mindanao. Philippine presidential executive secretary Eduardo Ermita has responded to these allegations by saying, that the U.S. soldiers "... all look alike so it’s as if they never leave," going on to say that they "... are replaced every now and then. They leave, contrary to the critics’ impression that they have not left". These remarks were made in response to statements made by Edgar Araojo, a political science professor at Western Mindanao State University, that the country had surrendered its sovereignty. In specific response, Ermita said, "Our national sovereignty and territorial integrity are intact", going on to point out that the Balikatan exercises had bolstered national and regional security, and to say that terrorists and communist rebels were "common enemies of democracy, therefore there is nothing wrong with cooperation" between the armed forces of the US and the Philippines.[13]

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ a b c "2 US Navy men, 1 Marine killed in Sulu land mine blast". GMA News. 29 September 2009. http://www.gmanews.tv/story/173383/2-us-navy-men-1-marine-killed-in-sulu-land-mine-blast. Retrieved 29 September 2009. "Two US Navy personnel and one Philippine Marine soldier were killed when a land mine exploded along a road in Indanan, Sulu Tuesday morning, an official said. The American fatalities were members of the US Navy construction brigade, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. told GMANews.TV in a telephone interview. He did not disclose the identities of all three casualties."  and
    Al Pessin (29 September 2009). "Pentagon Says Troops Killed in Philippines Hit by Roadside Bomb". Voice of America. http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-09-29-voa12.cfm. Retrieved 29 September 2009.  and
    "Troops killed in Philippines blast". Al Jazeera. 29 September 2009. http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/09/20099298614751808.html. Retrieved 29 September 2009.  and
    Jim Gomez (29 September 2009). "2 US troops killed in Philippines blast". The Associated Press. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h30hTsG16IE9GlKLcHW9BZwlRzQAD9B136M00. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  2. ^ http://202.84.17.73/english/htm/20010222/376940.htm
  3. ^ "The Return of Abu Sayyaf". Time Asia Magazine. 2004-08-30. http://www.time.com/time/asia/magazine/article/0,13673,501040830-686107,00.html. 
  4. ^ http://www.icasualties.org/OEF/Nationality.aspx?hndQry=US
  5. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200210/s691934.htm
  6. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/02/washington.soldiers.killed/
  7. ^ http://resources.bnet.com/topic/philippines+and+security.html
  8. ^ Flashpoint, No bungle in the jungle, armedforcesjournal.com, http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2007/09/2926516, retrieved 2007-11-01 
  9. ^ a b Al-Qaeda stalked by the Predator
  10. ^ LIEUTENANT GENERAL DONALD C. WURSTER
  11. ^ Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines, GlobalSecurity.org, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/enduring-freedom-philippines.htm, retrieved 2007-07-11 
  12. ^ JSOTF-P web site
  13. ^ a b c Michael Lim Ubac (7 September 2008), Palace: GIs all look alike, Philippine Daily Inquirer, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20080907-159154/Palace-GIs-all-look-alike, retrieved 2008-09-07 
  14. ^ Military Advisors in Philippines
  15. ^ 'No survivors' in U.S. chopper crash - CNN.com
  16. ^ Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wayne Jackson
  17. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200210/s691934.htm
  18. ^ http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/southeast/10/02/philippines.blast/
  19. ^ http://www.defenselink.mil/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=8109
  20. ^ http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=8960
  21. ^ http://www.defenselink.mil/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=10540
  22. ^ http://news.soc.mil/Memorial%20Wall/Bios/Curreri_bio_USASFC.pdf
  23. ^ "DoD Identifies Army Casualties". Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs). 1 October 2009. http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=13015. Retrieved 3 October 2009. 
  24. ^ "2 U.S. soldiers killed in Philippines bomb blast". CNN. 2 October 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/02/washington.soldiers.killed/. Retrieved 3 October 2009. 
  25. ^ Zachary Abuza (December, 2003), Funding Terrorism in Southeast Asia: The Financial Network of Al Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah, 1, National Bureau of Asian Research, http://www.nbr.org/publications/analysis/pdf/vol14no5.pdf, retrieved 2008-01-27 

Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines
Part of Insurgency in the Philippines, War on Terrorism
Date January 15, 2002 - ongoing
Location Mindanao, Philippines
Result Conflict ongoing
Belligerents
 Philippines
Pro Government Militia
 United States (advisors)
File:Flag of Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Moro National Liberation Front
al-Qaeda,
File:Flag of Jemaah Islamiyah,
File:Flag of Abu Sayyaf,
File:Flag of Rajah Solaiman Movement,
[[Image:|22x20px|border |]] New People's Army
Commanders
RP Forces:
Hermogenes Esperon Jr
Brigadier General Ramiro Alivio
U.S. Advisors:
Ltg. Martin Dempsey (acting CENTCOM commander)
Gen. David Petraeus (incoming CENTCOM commander)
Bill Coultrup
File:Flag of Khadaffy Janjalani
[[Image:|22x20px|border |]] Jose Maria Sison
Nur Misuari
File:Flag of Al Haj Murad Ebrahim
Strength
18,000 Filipinos[citation needed]
Unknown CAFGU (Militias)[citation needed]
500 American advisors[citation needed]
2,000 (ASG)[citation needed]
11,000 (MILF)[citation needed]
7,000 (NPA)
200-300 al-Qaeda[citation needed]
Causes:
Islamic insurgency in the Philippines,
September 11, 2001 attacks
Sources: Yahoo!NEWS

Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines (OEF-P) is part of Operation Enduring Freedom and the U.S. Global War on Terrorism.[1] About 500 U.S. military personnel are advising and assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Southern Philippines. In addition, the CIA has sent it's elite paramilitary officers from their Special Activities Division to hunt down and kill or capture key terrorist leaders.[citation needed] This group has had the most success in combating and capturing Al-Qaeda leaders and the leaders of associated groups like Abu Sayyaf.[2]

Special Operations Command-Pacific (SOCPAC) troops are the core of Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines (OEF-P), an operation which supports the Government of the Republic of the Philippines counterterrorism efforts. With U.S. advice and training, the AFP and civilian authorities have improved their ability to coordinate and sustain counterterrorism operations. U.S. and Philippine forces have also worked together under the new Security Engagement Board framework – the primary mechanism for consultation and planning regarding non-traditional security threats – to complete humanitarian and civil assistance projects and improve living conditions in the southern Philippines. As a result of their combined efforts, support for terrorists has waned markedly.

Deployment first began January 2002 and involved more than 1,200 members of United States Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC), headed by Brig. Gen. Donald C. Wurster. SOCPAC's deployable joint task force HQ, Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510), directed and carried out the operation.

The mission was to advise the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating terrorism in the Philippines.[3] Much of the mission (Exercise Balikatan 02-1) took place on the island of Basilan, a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf.

Contents

Timeline

On February 21, 2002, the largest loss of life for U.S. forces occurred when 10 soldiers were killed after their MH-47 crashed at sea in the southern Philippines.

On October 2, 2002, an explosion at an open-air market outside the gate of Camp Enrile Malagutay in Zamboanga killed a U.S. special forces soldier.[citation needed]

Combatants

Armed Forces of the Philippines

Elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are deployed in Mindanao to deal with Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah. This deployment is controversial because of the presence of U.S trainers who are accused by Abu Sayyaf of being "traitorous scum coming to prop the autocratic and illegal government of the Philippines"

United States Armed Forces

The United States has provided the Philippine government with advisors, equipment and financial support to counter Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah.

Abu Sayyaf

The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) is deemed a "foreign terrorist organization" by the United States government. Specifically, it is an Islamist separatist group based in and around the southern islands of the Republic of the Philippines, primarily Jolo, Basilan, and Mindanao.

Since inception in the early 1990s, the group has carried out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and extortion in their fight for an independent Islamic state in western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago, with a claimed overarching goal of creating a Pan-Islamic superstate across the Malay portions of Southeast Asia, spanning, from east to west, the large island of Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago (Basilan and Jolo islands), the large island of Borneo (Malaysia and Indonesia), the South China Sea, and the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand and Burma).

The name of the group is Arabic for Father (Abu) of the Sword (Sayyaf).

Jemaah Islamiyah

Jemaah Islamiyah is a militant Islamic terrorist organization dedicated to the establishment of a fundamentalist Islamic theocracy in Southeast Asia, in particular Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, the south of Thailand and the Philippines.

Jemaah Islamiyah is thought to have killed hundreds of civilians and is suspected of having executed the Bali car bombing on October 12, 2002 in which suicide bombers killed 202 people, mostly Australian tourists, and wounded many in a nightclub. After this attack, the U.S. State Department designated Jemaah Islamiyah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Jemaah Islamiyah is also suspected of carrying out the Zamboanga bombings, the Rizal Day Bombings, the 2004 Jakarta embassy bombing and the 2005 Bali terrorist bombing.

Financial links between Jemaah Islamiyah and other terrorist groups, such as Abu Sayyaf and al-Qaeda, have been found to exist.[4] Jemaah Islamiyah means "Islamic Group" and is often abbreviated JI.

Balikatan training exercises

The Balikatan training exercises are a part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines which is mainly a series of joint training exercises between the Philippines and the United States. These training exercises are mainly taking place in Mindanao, the Spratly Islands, Tarlac, and other parts in the Philippines. The Balikatan training exercises are focused on joint training and counter-terrorist training aimed on strengthening relations between the Philippines and the United States. The Balikatan training exercises are also aimed on training Philippine forces to fight the Abu Sayyaf, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

There have been allegations in the Philippine press and elsewhere that visiting forces from the United States appear to have become a permanent fixture in the landscape of Zamboanga City and other crisis-torn parts of Mindanao. Philippine presidential executive secretary Eduardo Ermita has responded to these allegations by saying, that the U.S. soldiers "... all look alike so it’s as if they never leave," going on to say that they "... are replaced every now and then. They leave, contrary to the critics’ impression that they have not left". These remarks were made in response to statements made by Edgar Araojo, a political science professor at Western Mindanao State University, that the country had surrendered its sovereignty. In specific response, Ermita said, "Our national sovereignty and territorial integrity are intact", going on to point out that the Balikatan exercises had bolstered national and regional security, and to say that terrorists and communist rebels were "common enemies of democracy, therefore there is nothing wrong with cooperation" between the armed forces of the US and the Philippines.[5]

See also

References and notes


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