RealNews

U.S., Philippines end hearts and minds exercise

Villagers sang ancient tribal songs and schoolgirls waved paper flags on Saturday to mark the end of U.S-Philippine military exercises on an island that is a bastion of Islamic rebels. The annual Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises did not include war game scenarios this year. Instead, the two militaries have built roads and schoolhouses and provided healthcare to thousands of people in the southern Philippines, a region riven by poverty and insurgency. The strategy appears to be giving U.S. forces much needed dividends after reverses in Iraq and an escalation of violence in Afghanistan. Full Story

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