Several of these countries had pressed their claims in the past with the comfort of knowing the US was in the area and would back them up. Now that the US has less of a pressence — in part because countries like the Phillipines kicked us out in a fit of hubris and nationalism — they are left to face China alone. So the chances of them winning any of these claims are pretty slim. So, of course, now countries like the Phillipines are screaming for us to back them up again. As ye sew, so shall ye reap.
“.... with the comfort of knowing the US was in the area and would back them up” ??