Obama pushes Guam buildup funding
While it’s not the most visible news going on in the mainland, the United States is reorienting its military presence not just in Afghanistan and Iraq but also in the South Pacific:
The White House yesterday said if the Senate doesn’t fund military buildup projects on Guam as planned, it could appear to Japan that “the U.S. does not stand by its allies.”
This was said in a statement from the executive office of President Barack Obama, who urged senators to pass a massive military construction appropriations bill without adopting some U.S. senators’ cost-cutting recommendations.
H.R. 2055 — the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal 2012 — has faced opposition in the Senate, where a political climate of frugality has pressed lawmakers to reduce federal spending.
About $150 million of military construction funding, which would have funded the foundation for a Marine base and a Marine aviation complex on Guam, was removed from the legislation by a Senate subcommittee last month. The entire Senate is now considering these cuts.
With this decision looming, the White House statement expresses concern about “reduction of funding” for overseas military construction on Guam and Bahrain.
“Deferring or eliminating these projects could signal that the U.S. does not stand by its allies or its agreements such as the realignment of forces from Okinawa to Guam,” according to the White House.