By most accounts it is likely that for the next few years there will be a continued decline in U.S. naval presence or engagement worldwide as it pursues a downsizing of its naval forces. That is expected despite calls for U.S. Navy leadership to advocate a fleet sufficiently sized to support U.S. engagement strategy—which is a navy large enough to shape world events in a way favorable to U.S. interests and to respond to emerging threats to the national security of the United States and it allies.
Furthermore, some believe there also will be a likely gravitation to China in the wake of its emerging economic strength and an apparent military expansion worldwide.
For the Philippine Navy, that likely forthcoming scenario is not expected to completely alter its current strategic partnership with the United States, which to date remains strong and solid. The United States continues to be a constant and steady source of logistics for the Philippine Navy as well as a good provider of training and other capability-building activities. Nonetheless, adjustments have to be made in terms of the likelihood of a cut in military aid to the PN in terms of arms and logistics and a reduction in training exercises and similar activities.
While that initially would have a significant effect on the PN’s own effort to modernize its capabilities, the PN would have to be realistic and look beyond its ties with the U.S. Navy and explore increased engagement with other navies.
Whatever occurs, all steps taken will have as their primary focus the PN’s ongoing efforts to build a capable fleet to address the maritime concerns of the Philippines, and to meet the myriad challenges brought about by a fast-changing and dynamic security environment.