More than 6,000 Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen participating in a major exercise in the Philippines won’t be enjoying the local nightlife.
U.S. Pacific Command is strictly limiting liberty for troops participating in the Balikatan exercise alongside 5,000 Filipino troops.
Marine General Chuck Krulak coined the term “Strategic Corporal” a few years ago to describe the geopolitical impact even a very junior servicemember could have in a theater of operations.
In this case, the impact of a (Lance) Corporal who allegedly murdered a transgendered Filipino prostitute last year has not quite ruptured a renewed cooperative relationship between the Philippines and the US.* The local population still has very little goodwill to the average US troop.
The poor prospects for decent liberty for US troops is a direct consequence of that, and a small price to pay for showing the Philippine people the US can be a trusted partner, and not an overlord.
*One of the very few instances where the Obama foreign policy has improved the relationship between American and an allied nation.