US, Philippines kick off largest multinational drills since Duterte took office


Seth Robson


Stars and Stripes


May 7, 2018 


The United States and the Philippines have begun their largest multinational drills under President Rodrigo Duterte, who sought to scale down America’s military presence in his country after taking office in June 2016. About 8,000 U.S. and Philippine troops on Monday kicked off the 34th iteration of the annual Balikatan exercise — which means “shoulder to shoulder” in Tagalog — that runs through May 18 in the Philippines.