Hawaii’s role in the U.S. Military Empire

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“Hawaii’s role in all this is enormous. Hawaii represents a fraction of one per cent of the United States’ land area and has just 1.37 million people, but is home to 119 military sites, effectively making Hawaii a giant floating military garrison, from which troops and military hardware are dispatched around the world.
Not a dozen miles from tourist-packed Waikiki Beach is Camp HM Smith, headquarters of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) which oversees military operations in roughly half the world, from the Bering Sea to the Antarctic and across the entirety of the Pacific Ocean as far west as Central Asia, Pakistan and the southern Indian Ocean. More than half the world lives within USPACOM’s “area of responsibility”, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan – and 32 other countries.
Hawaii constitutes the backbone of U.S. military presence and power projection capabilities in Asia. Home to the headquarters of U.S. Pacific Command, the largest of the Unified Commands, Hawaii hosts 161 military installations that facilitate all aspects of U.S. military activities, from land, air and space operations, to training, to communications.
It has been estimated that military-connected personnel account for 17 percent of Hawaii’s population. As a strategically important forward location in the Pacific, Hawaii has seen a buildup in Army and Marine forces since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. At the same time, the U.S. Navy has increased its visibility in the Western- Pacific in an effort to dissuade and deter potential regional threats from traditional and trans-national actors.
Hawaii is a vital state as the military looks to expand its presence, and increase its focus, on the Pacific. As the department of defense looks to slash budgets and cut spending, the Pacific region is one area both President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta have said they’re looking to enhance military presence. Mentioned specifically in the defense department’s new strategic guidance for 2012, renewed focus on military operations in the Pacific will only increase the importance of Honolulu’s defense industry.
And this one is written from a “right wing” point of view of being suspicious of Hawaii activists wishing for sovereignty… gives a lot of eye opening perspectives about the issues going on.
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