The opening of Camp Blaz, a U.S. Marine Corps facility in Guam, in January shows how broad US militarism in the Pacific is and how it hurts the Indigenous Chamorro people of Guam.
Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States. That means people there have limited political representation, with little to no control over military activities directly impacting their lives. This imbalance of power perpetuates a colonial relationship that’s incompatible with the principles of democracy and human rights.
The problem has gotten so severe that rights activists from the Chamorro people of Guam filed a case with the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to oppose plans to further militarize the island.
This military base in Guam is just the latest in decades of unchecked U.S. militarism. It is time for Congress to acknowledge the detrimental effects of our military footprint and demand transparency, accountability, and a greater level of decision-making power for the people of Guam. Tell Congress to investigate and limit the U.S. military footprint in the Pacific.
This 4,000-acre military installation will house 5,000 Marines, which would represent 3% of the island’s population. Increased military activity on Guam threatens not only the Indigenous population, but also the environment.
Decades of unrestrained development and expansion of the U.S. military in Guam have destroyed thousands of acres of rainforest and limestone forest on the island, as well as the rich biodiversity of the region. That’s why it is so important to speak out right now, and urge Congress to conduct a thorough investigation into the impact of the U.S. military’s expansion in the Pacific on the local communities in the region. This investigation must scrutinize the social, political, and economic consequences of our military footprint and seek to correct the damage that has been done.
Together, let’s raise our voices, call on Congress to act, and pave the way for a brighter, more sustainable future for the United States and the Pacific region as a whole. The stakes are too high to remain silent.
Thank you for working for peace,
Shahed, Raimy, Eric, and the Win Without War team