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Pacific

Pacific Peace Network Challenges RIMPAC

Last month, two Canadian warships, HMCS Vancouver and Winnipeg departed Esquimalt naval base heading for San Diego and then Hawai’i to participate in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) war maneuvers scheduled from June 29 to August 4. Just as the Canadian warships were departing Esquimalt, activists in Hawai’i gathered at Kailua near the Marine Corps Air Station on Kaneohe Bay to protest the impending visit of the RIMPAC warships, including Canada’s. According to the US Pacific Fleet, this year’s RIMPAC war rehearsals began on June 30 and will continue until August 4. It will be the largest maritime war exercise in the world with “26 nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 30 unmanned systems, approximately 170 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel participating.”

Guantanamo, Cuba: VII Symposium On The Abolition Of Foreign Military Bases

The seventh iteration of the Symposium on the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases was held May 4-6, 2022 in Guantanamo, Cuba, near the 125 year old US Naval Base located a few miles from the city of Guantanamo.   The Naval Base is the site of the infamous US military prison that, as of April 2022, still holds 37 men, most of whom have never been tried as their trial would reveal the torture to which the US has subjected them.  18 of the 37 are approved for release if U.S. diplomats can arrange for countries to accept them. The Biden administration has released 3 prisoners so far including one who had been cleared for release in the final days of the Obama Administration but was kept imprisoned for 4 more years by the Trump administration.  The prison was opened twenty years ago on January 11, 2002.

‘Anti-China’ Military Pact ‘Threatens Peace And Stability’ In Pacific

Anti-war advocates are denouncing Wednesday's formation of a trilateral military partnership through which the United States and the United Kingdom plan to help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines—a long-term initiative broadly viewed as a challenge to China by Western powers determined to exert control over the Pacific region. Although Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and U.S. President Joe Biden did not mention Beijing during their joint video announcement of the so-called AUKUS alliance, "the move is widely seen as a response to China's expanding economic power, military reach, and diplomatic influence," the Washington Post reported. "China is believed to have six nuclear attack submarines, with plans to increase the fleet in the next decade."

Minuteman III Missile Test Launch From Vandenberg AFB Ends In Failure

Range control officers at Vandenberg Air Force Base terminated the flight of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile after it launched early Tuesday morning. Air Force Global Strike Command representatives said crews sent the self-destruct command at 4:42 a.m. while the missile flew over the Pacific Ocean. The three-stage weapon earlier had blasted out of an underground silo on North Base en route to a predetermined target in the central Pacific Ocean near the Kwajalein Atoll. The launch occurred at 4:38 a.m. and the destruct command was sent approximately four minutes later,  Global Strike Command officials confirmed Wednesday. For test launches from Vandenberg, the Minuteman III missiles are equipped with ordnance that allows range safety crew members to send commands to destroy the weapon if it begins to veer off course or otherwise behave oddly. “An anomaly is any unexpected event during the test,” Global Strike Command representatives said.

Military’s Live-Fire Training Ignites Resistance From Some Big Island Neighbors

POHAKULOA, Hawaii Island — It’s cold, it’s windy and at 6,300 feet above sea level, the air is thin. For more than 70 years, this stark landscape of folded black lava and bulging cinder cones has been where the U.S. military prepares for war on Hawaii Island. This is Pohakuloa Training Area, the U.S. military’s largest training grounds in the Pacific. Established as a live-fire range for U.S. Marines during World War II, PTA has fallen under the domain of the Army since the mid-1950s. The area is used to practice unloading troops, firing weapons and other battle maneuvers — and also serves as a training ground for other militaries around the globe. “Sweat in training is far more preferable to blood lost in fighting,” said Army public affairs officer Eric Hamilton, adding that the training is central to PTA’s core mission.

These Pacific Islanders Still Live At The Mercy Of The US Military

By Roy Smith in The Conversation - In the latest development of the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia, a strategy of reorganising and strengthening US military capabilities in the Pacific, the islanders of Pagan and Tinian are being told to make way for a “simulated war zone”. After decades of living at the behest of American military priorities, they are still resisting moves to encroach on their homelands – and their chances of success are as slim as ever. Both islands are part of the US associated Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. Their strategic location, midway between the US Pacific Fleet headquarters in Hawaii and the Asian mainland, with further logistical support available at the naval facilities in nearby Guam, make them attractive locations for the US military’s purposes.
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