Looking ahead to a high-level meeting this spring (2012) between the U.S. and Philippine state and defense ministers, or 2+2, in the parlance of D.C., The New York Times asked me to write an op-ed piece on U.S.-Philippine relations. Having researched and thought about those relations quite a bit in two novels, The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata and Gun Dealers’ Daughter, I could not figure out how to narrow the piece’s slant. I think in terms of a novel’s sprawl, not an op-ed’s cramp. The New York Times wanted eleven hundred words; Gun Dealers’ Daughter covered the same topic in seventy thousand. I settled on the “hauntology” (as critic J. Neil Garcia called it) of the U.S. military bases. Here’s the article, printed in the Sunday Review section of The New York Times, April 29, 2012.