19 June 2014

U.S. Military build-up in Guam presents enormous challenges to island society

Us navy 110821-n-az907-015 the aircraft carrier uss ronald reagan (cvn 76) enters apra harbor for a scheduled port visit

The Hawaii Independent

Looking at the ‘tip of the spear’

How U.S. Military policy in Guam, a proposed “mega build-up” and population displacement are destroying the island and its people.

Guåhan (Guam), an unincorporated territory of the United States, is the largest and most populated island in Micronesia. For a local comparison, Guåhan is larger than Lanaʻi yet smaller than Molokaʻi. Similar to Oʻahu, U.S.military bases occupy a third of Guåhan’s landmass.

Kanaka Maoli activist and scholar Kaleikoa Kaʻeo once described the U.S. military as a monstrous heʻe (octopus). Imagine Pacific Command headquarters as its head, the mountaintop telescopes as its eyes, and the supercomputers and fiber optic networks as its brain and nerve system.

Now imagine one of its weaponized tentacles strangling Guåhan: “The Tip of the Spear.”

In 2009, details of a military “mega-buildup” on Guåhan were released in a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a document that requires the military to outline how the military buildup will pollute and degrade natural and cultural resources. The EIS was 11,000 pages long.