On Guam, planned Marine base raises anger, infrastructure concerns
By Blaine Harden Washington Post Foreign Service. Monday, March 22, 2010
HAGATNA, GUAM. This remote Pacific island is home to U.S. citizens who are fervent supporters of the military, as measured by their record of fighting and dying in America's recent wars.
But they are angry about a major military buildup here, which the government of Guam and many residents say is being grossly underfunded. They fear that the construction of a new Marine Corps base will overwhelm the island's already inadequate water and sewage systems, as well as its port, power grid, hospital, highways and social services.
"Our nation knows how to find us when it comes to war and fighting for war," said Michael W. Cruz, lieutenant governor of Guam and an Army National Guard colonel who recently returned from a four-month tour as a surgeon in Afghanistan. "But when it comes to war preparations -- which is what the military buildup essentially is -- nobody seems to know where Guam is."
The federal government has given powerful reasons to worry to the 180,000 residents of Guam, a balmy tropical island whose military importance derives from its location as by far the closest U.S. territory to China and North Korea.
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What you can do:
Send a protest letter to Duncan Kerr, Minister for Pacific Territories.
More about the militarisation of the Pacific in the Summer 2007 edition of the AABCC Bulletin.