Defense cuts leaves westernmost U.S. citizens, soil vulnerable to Korean nukes

Defense cuts leaves westernmost U.S. citizens, soil vulnerable to Korean nukes

Patriots then, patriots now. Knowing the entire family would be executed by the enemy if found with them, Guamanian children proudly display homemade flags to liberating American troops in 1944.

“Our allies question our commitment…”

Due to Obama Administration cuts in the U.S. defense budget, sovereign American soil and tens of thousands of American citizens remain vulnerable to attack amid the nuclear saber rattling of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un, as reported by the Associated Press via The Military Times.

North Korean officials have threatened to attack the massive Andersen Air Force Base located at the westernmost point of American soil in the territory of Guam.

Also in danger is the nearby U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI). Home to almost 200,000 American citizens, Guam and the CNMI are well within the range of North Korea’s Musudan and Taepodong nuclear-tipped missiles.

Guam’s Republican Governor, Eddie Calvo, stated the decision to finally send a high altitude missile defense platform to the territory:

Gives us some comfort.

The concern we have is all you need is that one lucky shot, and that lucky shot from a North Korean missile could do a lot of damage to our island home.

Madeleine Bordallo, Guam’s delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, expressed hope that “Congress now recognizes that further delays in the military expansion plans for Guam and the broader Asia-Pacific realignment of the U.S. military’s forces ‘make our allies question our commitment to the region.'”

Unfortunately for the Americans in the far western Pacific, the arrival of the Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) won’t arrive on-island from Ft. Bliss, Texas for at least “the next few weeks.” Gannett news network reports, “The Defense Department had planned to develop a $242 million Army Ballistic Missile Defense Task Force on Guam but mothballed it in 2010 because of spending concerns.” The cut in Guam’s defense received bi-partisan support to leave America’s westernmost outposts vulnerable “because of spending concerns from some lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.”

Everything Old Is New Again…

Prior to World War II, the U.S. Congress refused to fortify Guam, causing many to refer to the island as “the American pillbox without any machine guns.”

Simultaneous with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Guam was also attacked. Less than 200 Marines and a handful of Guam Insular Guardsmen fought 5,600 Japanese troops until the Leathernecks were ordered to surrender by the island’s Naval commander.

The Guamanian people remained ever loyal to the United States with the prime example being that of Catholic priest, Father Jesus Dueñas. Dueñas was adamant in his refusal to cooperate with the Japanese in their efforts to capture a handful of American sailors who he and other Guamanians were hiding in various locations on the island.

During one confrontation with the occupying enemy, the head of the Catholic Church on the island informed the Japanese:

I answer only to God, and the Japanese are not God.

The native-born priest was known to purposely irritate the Japanese by humming “God Bless America” while attending mandatory meetings with the island’s conquerors.

Father Dueñas was put to the sword by the enemy after being tortured for three days at the steps of his parish church in the south of Guam. His martyr’s death was mere days before Guam’s long nightmare ended as the island was liberated by American forces during the summer of 1944.

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman

T. Kevin Whiteman is a retired Master Sergeant of Marines. He has written for Examiner, Conservative Firing Line, and other blogs.


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