Category Archives: Militarization Articles

U.S. Violating Compact of Free Association with Pacific Nations

Micronesians in Hawaii face uncertain future

COFA Agreements provide US regional control in exchange for limited access to America.

By Jon Letman, Al Jazeera — originally posted: 03 Oct 2013 06:40

When the bloodiest Pacific battles of World War II were over, the United States found a new use for the small islands of Micronesia: open-air nuclear testing. Between 1946 and 1958, the US conducted at least 67 nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands, unleashing the equivalent of over 7,200 Hiroshima-sized bombs in the Marshall Islands. The largest test, carried out in March 1954, had a yield of 15 megatons, over 1,000 times the strength of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.  Continue reading

Pentagon Proposes to Bomb Pristine Island Chain to Smithereens

By Koohan Paik, IFG Asia Pacific Program Campaign Director

Please see below this article, by Leevin Camacho and Daniel Broudy, about the Pentagon’s plans to offer up some of the last pristine, uninhabited and biodiverse spots left in the world, for FULL-SPECTRUM live-fire training. 

Two-thirds of Tinian, and the entire islands of Farallon de Medinilla and Pagan, as well as one-third of Guam (the ravaged island’s last undeveloped jungles) would be destroyed by this plan. How can these activities possibly coexist with George Bush’s 2009 designation of this area as the “Marianas Trench Marine National Monument” to preserve the environment????

 

‘Sweetening’ the Pentagon’s Deal in the Marianas: From Guam to Pagan グアムからパガン島へ マリアナ諸島基地作戦に色づけするペンタゴン

By Leevin Camacho and Daniel Broudy — The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 27, No. 1, July 8, 2013

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Acclaimed Film Director Oliver Stone Joins Resistance Rallies vs. Controversial Military Base Sites in Pacific

By KOOHAN PAIK, Coordinator of the IFG Asia-Pacific Program

oliver.march

Acclaimed U.S. film director, Oliver Stone, visited Korea and Japan in August 2013 to lend support to citizens opposed to base-building in their nations, as well as the use of nuclear weapons. He visited Jeju Island, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo and Okinawa.

While on Jeju Island, where the South Korean and U.S. governments are building a huge, state-of-the-art navy base that will house aircraft carriers, destroyers and submarines, Stone made the most of his brief, two-day visit. He met former film critic Yang Yoon-mo at Jeju prison. Yang, a Jeju native, is serving time for “obstruction of government business,” after having put his body in the path of construction trucks entering the base construction site.

Stone also marched alongside Gangjeong village mayor Kang Dong-kyun and hundreds of other villagers in the Grand March for Life and Peace, an annual week-long protest trek around the circumference of the island. Mayor Kang had, several weeks earlier, spoken at Moana Nui 2013, an IFG Asia-Pacific event which took place in Berkeley, California in June.

On the last day of the Grand March, Stone spoke at a large rally about the dangers of militarizing Jeju Island.

Though Stone’s activities violate the South Korean law that prohibits foreigners from engaging in political activity, in this case, the government turned a blind eye. National news media outlets in both Korean and English reported on the visit, giving the base controversy exposure that would have been ignored had it not been for Stone’s presence.

Click below for reports from the Korean English-language media, as well as a Korean-language video news segment on Oliver Stone’s visit to Jeju island.

Jeju, Obama’s “Pivot to Asia,” says Oliver Stone Darren Southcott, The Jeju Weekly, 8/17/13

Oliver Stone Joins Jeju Residents’ Battle Against Naval Base Huh Ho-Joon, The Hankyoreh, 8/5/13

Oliver Stone: “Lifestyles Will Change” Darren Southcott, The Jeju Weekly, 8/4/13

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A Brewing Storm in the Western Pacific

By , IFG Board of Directors, July 23, 2013 (Foreign Policy In Focus)

China’s aggressive territorial claims, Washington’s “pivot” to Asia, and Japan’s hawkish bluster add up to a volatile brew in the Asia-Pacific.

A storm is brewing in the Western Pacific.

As the Asia-Pacific region descends into a period of destabilizing conflict, the Philippines is quickly becoming a frontline state in the U.S. strategy to contain China—the central thrust of the Obama administration’s so-called “Pivot to Asia.” In the most recent development, the Philippine government has offered the United States greater access to its military bases.

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Friends of the Earth Blog – New Video: “Peril in the Pacific”


Friends of the Earth, U.S. has released a new video, “Peril in the Pacific: Trans Pacific trade agreement threatens people and the planet.” The video highlights the threats to the environment and human rights posed by the secret negotiation of the TPP deal and in particular its draft investment chapter.
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On the Front Lines of a New Pacific War

By Koohan Paik and Jerry Mander (IFG Asia Pacific Program)
Originally published December 14, 2012,  The Nation

The US military’s aggressive Asia-Pacific strategy is escalating tensions with China and prompting local resistance throughout the region.


In Seoul, 5,000 anti-base protesters joined Gangjeong villagers who had marched, over a four-week period, up the length of the nation to the capitol. Credit: Fielding Hong

On the small, spectacular island of Jeju, off the southern tip of Korea, indigenous villagers have been putting their bodies in the way of construction of a joint South Korean–US naval base that would be an environmental, cultural and political disaster. If completed, the base would hold more than 7,000 navy personnel, plus twenty warships including US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and destroyers carrying the latest Aegis missiles—all aimed at China, only 300 miles away.  Continue reading

Korean Village Could Be First Casualty of US Military’s “Pacific Pivot”

BY KOOHAN PAIK – (IFG Asia Pacific Program Campaign Director)
Originally published OCTOBER 29, 2012 — Earth Island Journal

Residents of Jeju Island are protesting construction of new joint US-South Korean Navy base

In November 2011, President Barack Obama, joined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, announced the “Pacific Pivot,” a strategy to shift the US military’s focus to the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement was a signal to China that the United States would not permit its ascendance to advance any further into the US’s historic zone of economic and military domination, which dates back to the nineteenth-century occupations of the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii. But the announcement of the Pacific Pivot also raised a red flag for environmentalists, Indigenous peoples of the region, and small states within the Pacific Basin, who fear the consequences of this new geopolitical struggle. As an African saying goes: “When the elephants battle, the ants get crushed.”  Continue reading