The Mariana Islands have been a US possession dating back to 1898; many people thought we took over them after WWII, but that is not the case at all and they have been a part of the US Pacific strategy for well over a century now. It appears from the developments that have been ongoing there that the importance of this tiny archipelago is about to take a huge step up as far as America’s Pacific strategy is concerned.
It seems like our ties with Japan have never been stronger, but that has not changed the fact that many Japanese still see us as occupiers and still do not want us there despite the friendship we have with them. American forces in the country have largely been concentrated for years on the remote island of Okinawa. It is no secret that the Okinawan’s want us out of there and they stage huge rallies in support of that several times a year. In lieu of that fact, it seems America is somewhat reluctant to make Okinawa the main focal point of force in the region.
So, what is the backup plan? It seems that the think tank in Washington believes the answer to that question is building up the facilities in Guam. It has actually been a process in the works for few years now. We have had several strategic relationships with countries go south in the past that left us with nothing to show for the millions of dollars the US poured into facilities in that country. There is no better example of this than when our largest overseas military facilities based in the Philippines were shuttered for good as the result of laws that were passed there forbidding foreign armed forces from being permanently stationed on this Southeast Asian Nation’s soil (even though there are now overtures that they want us back with China’s rapid expansion in the Southeast/Philippine Sea).
America cannot afford, both literally and financially, to lose another strong foothold in the region, so they have been looking for an alternative. That alternative seems to be Guam and it makes sense considering they are a territory that we control and most likely can’t be forced out of. The island currently has two 11,000 foot runways that are capable of handling takeoffs and landings for any aircraft in the US inventory no matter what its size. There is enough parking area for 155 aircraft and there are some 19 million pounds of ordinance stored there on the 4400 acre facility.
The original plan was to house over 9800 Marines there in a shift from Okinawa, but that was met with stiff resistance from the island nation of some 160,000 people. They were much more receptive to a reduced figure of 4800 troops being relocated there. There is already a significant naval facility there too which can expect even more stops from surface ships and submarines alike. There is no doubt about it; Guam is poised to become even more valuable as a strategic military location in the very near future.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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