Military Build Up in Guam: Effects and Impacts

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Military Build Up in Guam
Guam, a U.S. Territory/Protectorate, is a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There are approximately 200,000 people living on the island, which is made up of about 37% Chamorro (indigenous people of Guam), 26% Filipino, 11% other Pacific Islander, and the remaining 26% are Caucasian and Asian. Currently, the U.S. Military occupies a sizable portion of land, which is approximately 30% of Guam’s prime property. Now, the military is increasing its presence on the island, because Japan wishes to reduce the current US presence in their country. This transfer of military personnel would increase the local population by as much as 25%. Many of the local people fear negative impacts of the military buildup, such as loss of precious land, destruction to their culture, increased crime rates, increased strain to their ailing infrastructure, and the loss of identity.

The military buildup in Guam is a 12 billion dollar effort of the United States and Japan Governments to relocate almost half the U.S. Marines currently stationed in Okinawa. This means that approximately 8,600 Marines of the 18,000 currently stationed in Okinawa, along with numerous dependents and contractors. The international agreement between the U.S. and Japan provides funding, of which Japan, will pay 3 billion of the 12 billion dollar budget. The budget includes 470 million for infrastructure, such as power, water, sewer, roads and port operations. Most of Japan’s money will be spent on construction for housing on military installations. The United States Government has identified land surrounding what’s now the Naval Communications Station to be the location for the Marines and their families. The international agreement states the relocation will commence in 2014. The construction phase is planned to start in October 2010. The military has started this phase earlier than expected, road construction, expansion of the mini-base in Radio Barrigada, and...
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