‘Anything is better than the status quo’: Guam eyes end to American colonial rule

A beach on Guam. Photo: AFP

 

As Guam prepares to celebrate Liberation Day this week, political leaders on the Pacific island say it is time to decide whether to remain a US colony or become an independent nation.

Debate about independence has raged for decades but legal complications mean plans to take the issue to a vote have stalled several times.

Former senator Eddie Duenas said a self-rule plebiscite was long overdue and should be held during a gubernatorial election expected next year.

“We have been driving but we don’t know where we’re driving to and how far we will go,” he told a recent meeting of Guam’s decolonisation commission in the capital Hagatna. Continue reading

China Sends Warships, Fighter Jets to Intercept U.S. Destroyer in South China Sea

 

Just days before Trump’s meeting with the Chinese president in Hamburg later this week for the G-20 summit, the Trump administration sent a guided-missile destroyer near Triton Island in the South China Sea, Bloomberg reported, a move “which may cause concern ahead of President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart.”

According to an anonymous official cited by Bloomberg, the U.S. Navy sent the destroyer USS Stethem within 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) of Triton Island on Sunday, passing through the contested waters on the basis of “innocent passage.” Continue reading

Geography and the coming Sino-American war at sea

A member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force takes part in an amphibious drill on May 13 during joint military exercises on Guam involving Japan, the U.S., France and Britain that were intended to show support for the free passage of vessels in international waters amid concerns China may restrict access to the South China Sea. | AP

 

Geography is determinate in military plans, a fact that planners understand at all levels, from tactical to strategic. While tailored combat elements may traverse difficult environments on land and at sea, heavily laden logistics craft that follow and enable them can rarely do the same. This is what pushes armies and fleets toward certain immutable routes, resulting in battles occurring at the same locations, over and over, throughout recorded history. Much as the ridge at Megiddo, better known as “Armageddon,” played witness to strife no less than 13 times since the 15th century B.C. because it stood astride the route from Mesopotamia to Egypt, key maritime straits such as the waters of the South China Sea and the Sunda and Malaccan Straits will provide the backdrop for future naval battles. Geography and geopolitics are intermeshed and unavoidable. Unfortunately for China, they sit upon the wrong side of the former and are rather poor at the latter. Western advantages in both must not be squandered. Continue reading

US Air Force to deploy five Global Hawk UAVs to Japan

The USAF plans to deploy five units of the RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV (seen here) to Japan from May to October 2017. (USAF)

 

The US Air Force (USAF) plans to deploy five Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and approximately 105 personnel, currently based at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, to Yokota Air Base in Japan from May to October 2017. Continue reading

North Korea May Provide It’s Own Election Day Bombshell

  • Military officials suggest that the North may attempt another launch one of its Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), a potential threat to U.S. forces in Guam.
  • The American strategic assets stationed in Guam could be used to back up U.S. and South Korean troops on the Korean peninsula were the North to attack its southern neighbor.
  • South Korea’s military noted that Pyongyang may want to present a show of force to demonstrate that it will continue its nuclear and ballistic missile programs despite pressure from the U.S. and the international community. Continue reading

Russia to set up Pacific Heavy Bomber Division to patrol seas near Japan, Hawaii, and Guam

Russia’s Ministry of Defence announced on 6 October the formation of a new long-range Heavy Bomber Division (Tyazheloy Bombardirovochnoy Aviatsionnoy Divizii, or HBD/TBAD). Stationed in the Far East, the unit’s role is to patrol the Pacific Ocean and, in particular, sea areas near to Japan, Hawaii, and Guam. Continue reading

China’s massive Pacific air force drill just the start of even bigger shows of might against US, experts predict

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A state media photo shows a Chinese Su-30 fighter (right) flying with a H-6K bomber as they take part in a drill near the East China Sea on Sunday. Photo: Xinhua

 

Long-range drills and patrols the Chinese military held in the Western Pacific on Sunday demonstrated the nation’s ability to counter US interference in the South China Sea issues, Chinese military experts have said.

The unprecedented exercise involved more than 40 aircraft from different aviation teams, indicating the air force would join with the navy, rocket forces or other military arms to conduct additional large joint operational exercises in the region in the future, they added.

Air force spokesman Shen Jinke said H-6K bombers, Su-30 fighters and air tankers conducted reconnaissance and early warning drills, simulated attacks on sea targets, and carried out in-flight refuelling. Continue reading

US Air Force Flies All Three Bombers in Pacific Op

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A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fly over Guam after launching from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for an integrated bomber operation Aug.17, 2016. This mission marks the first time in history that all three of Air Force Global Strike Command’s strategic bomber aircraft are simultaneously conducting integrated operations in the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations. (Photo by Sandra Welch/U.S. Air Force)

 

The U.S. Air Force flew its three strategic bombers — the B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress — in what was billed as the first-ever integrated bomber operation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The flight took place Aug. 17 at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, according to a press release and photos from the service. The news quickly circulated on social media. Continue reading

China’s successful new rocket launch signals breakthroughs in nation’s space weaponry: military experts

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A Long March 7 rocket, China’s new model carrier rocket, blasts off in Hainan province on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

It was just one launch, but the successful maiden flight of a new-generation carrier rocket on Saturday pointed to a multitude of breakthroughs in Chinese space weaponry, according to military experts.

The Long March-7 lifted off from Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre in the mainland’s southern-most Hainan province, carrying 13.5 tonnes of cargo – 90 per cent of which was taken up by the rocket’s special non-toxic fuel designed for multiple launch vehicles, plus wind-resistance devices, a re-entry capsule, a number of small satellites and other equipment.

For Macau-based military observer Antony Wong Dong, there were telling details in the Xinhua photos taken of the bullet-shaped re-entry module soon after it landed in the Badain Jaran Desert, in Inner Mongolia.

“The so-called re-entry capsule looks similar to China’s hypersonic glide vehicle DF-ZF,” Wong said. Continue reading

Why Are We Numb to the N.Korean Threat?

North Korea succeeded in test-firing a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile on Wednesday. Five previous tests since April went wrong, but the latest success suggests that the isolated country has made some technological progress and may soon be able to target the U.S. military base in Guam. Continue reading

China’s missile swarms vs. America’s lasers, drones and railguns: Who wins?

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Artist’s conception of a PLA anti-ship ballistic missile attack on three US Navy carriers

 

This much is true — no country can possibly hope to challenge the United States with military means on a global scale and win. But key to America’s global strength are huge air and naval bases which are vulnerable to being overwhelmed and destroyed by swarms of precision-guided weapons in a limited, regional war.

The Navy also cannot expect its ships to survive if they come under attack by sufficiently large numbers of cruise missiles and ballistic missiles of the kind now fielded by China. While better protected from missiles than bases, the current breadth of U.S. technology and doctrine cannot compensate for this weakness. Continue reading

China Building Missiles to Strike Guam

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Ballistic and cruise missile threat to U.S. island is increasing, congressional commission says

China is building up intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles that pose a growing threat to Guam, the strategic Pacific island that is central to the U.S. military pivot to Asia, according to a congressional report made public Tuesday.

Six different missiles capable of reaching Guam from China are deployed or in late stages of development, says the report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Continue reading

N. Korea plans extended SLBM range, large subs for nuclear attacks

“North Korea is believed to have made efforts to extend the range of its SLMBs to hit U.S. bases on Guam.”

Continue reading

Russian Jet Threatened U.S. Recon Aircraft

Barrel rolls over plane in latest Baltic Sea provocation

A Russian fighter jet flew dangerously close to a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft on Thursday in the latest military provocation by Moscow over the Baltic Sea, the U.S. European Command said Saturday.

“On April 14, a U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” said Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez.

“This intercept comes shortly after the unsafe Russian encounters with USS Donald Cook,” he added. “There have been repeated incidents over the last year where Russian military aircraft have come close enough to other air and sea traffic to raise serious safety concerns, and we are very concerned with any such behavior.” Continue reading

ON THE EDGE: Kim Jong-un to fire TWO MISSILES capable of DESTROYING US territory tomorrow

CRAZED Kim Jong-un has fuelled further speculation of impending war after North Korea deployed two missiles that are capable of reaching US territory.

The reclusive nation will fire the missiles tomorrow to mark the birthday of its tyrannical founder Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-un’s grandfather.

Continue reading