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Republican Party of Guam backs US 'preparation for war'

But senator says federal aid is not commensurate to the island's role in homeland defense


Frank Blas Jr.

By Pacific Island Times News Staff


The Republican Party of Guam today expressed its support for the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which addresses the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s unfunded priorities and nearly doubles the budget for Guam's military activity.


“The Republican Party of Guam believes in a doctrine where being prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace,” the party said in a statement.


The House version of NDAA 2024 would authorize $1.7 billion worth of defense projects related to the relocation of 5,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam. The proposed appropriation also includes $500 million for the development of the Guam missile defense system.


“This measure does much to rebuild the US military into the strongest on earth versus the weaker and retreating message presented through the Biden administration earlier this year,” the Republican Party said.


Republican Sen. Frank Blas Jr., however, said the federal funding assistance to Guam is not commensurate to the island’s strategic role in national defense.


He noted that the appropriations for Guam under the proposed $886 billion defense spending plan are “primarily for inside-the-fence needs,” leaving out the civilian community.


“Guam serves as a crucial operating platform projecting American strength and influence across Asia,” Blas said in a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.

“However, while it serves as a beacon of our nation’s defense presence, it is, more importantly, the home for over 150,000 Guamanians who now live under the threats inherent to being the frontline for America’s influence.”


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Given the territory’s strategic significance to the military’s Indo-Pacific strategy, Blas said Guam should receive additional consideration for funding and program opportunities.


“As we look ahead, it is vitally important that we continue to improve and enhance our transportation networks, energy grids, water distribution, healthcare system, and other vital infrastructure components in Guam.” the senator said.


“Funding and programs targeted toward these advancements will not only strengthen our national security but also boost the local economy and improve the quality of life for the residents of Guam.”


The White House's budget proposal for the Department of the Interior does not include the renewal of compact impact funding, which expires on Sept, 30.




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