Help from the US troops during the Marawi Siege: Is it likely a decoy?

After the Marawi siege on the 23rd of May by the Maute group, President Duterte late at night declared the entire Mindanao under martial law. Duterte told the media that he did not know the presence of the United States (US) troops in Marawi City during the intensifying war between the Maute group and the Philippine forces. He had “never approached America” for help, reportedly said Duterte during the news conference in Cagayan de Oro.

When the US troops intervened in the Marawi siege to help Philippine forces fighting against the Maute group, stark terror and doubt eclipsed the Filipinos’ hope to escape America’s claw for good. Moreover, stupider than being backstabbed by those people Duterte entrusted, the US technical aid amid the fight was not just simply a standing protocol in the purview of the US-PH Mutual Defense Treaty.

More than just being screwed in broad daylight, the US assistance as being predicated on the ongoing ISIS-led war in Marawi would not just be a simple fight against terrorism, neither would that be the US initiative to send help as urgent as keeping President Duterte blind of this effort supposedly inherent of his disposal, nor would it be as worse as no-choice situation.

Is it ordinarily rather fitting to act diplomatically and treat such US troops’ effort as a random act of humanity that is open for external forces who want to help fight against the Maute group even sans the president’s knowledge beforehand?

Duterte, as a “castaway” during the Marawi siege?

By letting President Duterte appear as a castaway or worse than a puppet president when he, himself, confirmed his “innocence” about the US technical assistance in Marawi, isn’t it just simply a role-playing that President Duterte seemed left out naively in the scene? That in such case, there would be no violation of the chain of command?

Is there no violation of the chain of command after all despite making the states’ commander-in-chief blind to the US effort? Would it be possible that Presidente Duterte was double-crossed? Or could it be that he was just simply uninformed?

After the US initiative to send help to the Philippine forces in Marawi, did the situation on the ground become more favorable to the government forces? That was not the expected scenario as 13 marines were killed as of press time after all.

US troops to help during the Marawi Siege: Is it likely a decoy?
File Photo: The Marawi City was set ablaze by airstrikes during the siege. (Photo: Mark Jhomel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Whether the terrorist group has already been advancing its security level on the ground making it so difficult for the Philippine forces, the US troops could not be held responsible.

Whether the US effort became successful in defeating the Maute group on the ground, Filipinos, at last, would face the world, yet red-faced.

But knowing the US full well—the capability to likely pretend and intend to utilize its clandestine forces effectively operating across the globe especially in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, and now back in the Philippines— its initiative to send help to the Philippine forces during the Marawi siege may likely be a stark decoy.

The US move to help the Philippine forces without the knowledge of President Duterte may simply be either covert support to the Maute group or a form of extraction as a ploy to avert the schemes and plans of the Philippine government about its initially gradual move to disengage with America to finally in toto.

The Philippine government now is in checkmate with this jaw-dropping US effort in the Marawi siege leaving President Duterte in a stalemate, momentarily.

The US move could be likened to hitting two birds with just a single bullet—reaffirming its integral presence in the Philippines and value in times of security crisis while getting through a course or a plan that may strengthen its geopolitical advancement in Asia and the Pacific. ▲


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