March 24, 2006
Colloquium Speaker: BG Victor N. Corpus (ret)
Brigadier General Victor N. Corpus, Armed Forces of the Philippines (retired). BG Corpus graduated from the Philippines Military Academy (PMA) in 1967. In 1970, as a young lieutenant he enraged the Marcos regime by leading a raid on the PMA armory. At the time he was a member of the Communist-led New People's Army (NPA) of the Philippines. Over the next few years he rose through the ranks to become a member of the Philippines Communist Party Central Committee (1975-1976). Becoming disenchanted with the movement, he surrendered in 1976 and spent the next 10 years as a political prisoner. Once installed as President, Corazon Aquino granted Corpus amnesty and in 1987 reinstated him to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Subsequently, Corpus held several positions throughout the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) including Chief of the Intelligence Service from 2001 to 2003. He completed his active military service in October, 2004, after a year as Commanding General of the Armed Forces Civil Relations Service. In 1987 BG Corpus wrote Silent War, which provides an insider's look at the Communist insurgency in the Philippines and includes an outline of how the movement could be defeated. The following year he co-authored the AFP's anti-insurgency Campaign Plan: Lambat Bitag. In 2000 he authored the Philippines' National Peace and Development Plan. President Arroyo named Corpus as the Philippines' czar in charge of battling illegal logging, a practice blamed for the 2004 landslides in Quezon Province that killed hundreds of people. The New People's Army was believed to be heavily involved in illegal logging activities. BG Corpus holds a Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard (1990).
With his unique perspective, BG Corpus will discuss the current and near future geopolitical situation in the Southeast Asia-Pacific region. He will use that area as a starting point for exploring the options that the US has available in its efforts to remain the world's only superpower. Through a series of worst-case scenarios, BG Corpus will describe how the US would likely not succeed in maintaining a Pax Americana only by employing its overwhelming military force. This outsider's view of US strategy and published strategy statements will provide fresh input for current debates about the use and limitations of American power. The US stands at a crossroad. One road leads to world domination. The other road leads to world leadership. The future world status of the US depends on which road is taken.