It was announced today that the Filipino government and about 600 US soldiers are going to be looking for a group called Abu Sayyaf.
If I remember correctly, the US got kicked off their base a few years ago, but I'm not sure. Can I get a general commentary from the Filipino side?
From the German side:
The Abu Sayyaf is a separatist organisation in the Philippines, organized as a guerilla force. They kidnapped a group of European (and American?) tourists and Filipino guides in 2000 to draw attention to their case. They received a whole lot of USD to let them go, IIRC. Among that group was a German family of three, whose fate (especially that of the mother) roused great solidarity with the hostages over here. Also, the Abu Sayyaf took at least one journalist captive who was reporting on that case. They let him go shortly after the release of the big hostage group.
If the Fox-news is true, I think the current action is the revenge for that very hostage-taking a year and some ago.
Waiting for the Filipino side,
The Filipino military has had long ties to American sources. However, their materiel situation is TERRIBLE (at sea, their flagship is a WWII frigate and I bet the rest of their military's in a similar state). With our Republican administration, such a move wouldn't be out of the question for the Americans.
Our flagship is NOT WWII vintage.
It's Falkland Islands vintage...
It's not 600... more like no more than 160.
These terrorists've been active for a loooong time and got these kidnaps going. And it was Libya that paid the $$$ to let the first batch go free, and give funding to terrorists while looking good.
I like the FBI policy in hostage situations myself: all the hostages are considered to be functionally dead and any that actually survive when it's all said and done are considered a bonus. :P
I take it you've never *been* a hostage, Az?
The problem, of course, is FINDING those hostages before considering them dead...
The FBI (Famous but Ineffective) are fairly correct this time, in all likelyhood hostages will die no matter what, so there's no point chasing moonbeams that will get your men killed.
Rakso: Last thing I knew, all you guys had was a bunch of FACs and a single old frigate to command them. As it is, finding a group of people on a 7,000+ island chain that don't want to be found is going to be silly at best. I would say leave the hostages unless somebody gets lucky enough to get proof that they're still alive.
I heard this story on the news a few days ago as well. I believe the US has sent approx 600 special forces personel to help train Filipino ground forces. The Abu Sayyaf terrorist group operation in the PI has ties to Al Queda, thats one of the reasons the US is involved.
BTW I'd guess that there are more Filipinos in the US military than the Philippine military =)