As our friends in Vieques, Puerto Rico have reminded us, history has proven that we cannot believe what the military says. The new commander of the U.S. Army Pacific may renege on the decision by his predecessor to end live fire training in Makua valley. The AP reports:
The top U.S. Army commander in the Pacific wants to be sure Hawaii-based soldiers have alternate locations for live-fire training before he’ll write off using Makua — a valley many Native Hawaiians consider sacred — for that purpose.
In his first interview since taking command of U.S. Army Pacific, Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski told The Associated Press that he won’t send soldiers to Makua Valley to train with live ammunition so long as the Army finishes building training ranges in central Oahu and the Big Island on time.
But Wiercinski said he would need to keep his options open on Makua in case the construction of new ranges at Schofield Barracks and Pohakuloa Training Area is delayed.
“If we are successful in completing the live-fire areas on Schofield, if we are successful in completing all of the live-fire areas on PTA that we need,” Wiercinski said, he’ll not be forced to open up live-fire training on Makua. “But if we don’t get that, then I’m forced to look at other ways to get live-fire throughput for all of our units here in Hawaii.”
So Makua is being held hostage until the Army can complete its destructive expansion in Lihu’e (Schofield) and Pohakuloa. This is how the divide-and-conquer approach has been used against communities in Hawai’i, and between Hawai’i and other places in the region.
Construction in Lihu’e and Pohakuloa has been delayed by the cultural sites and iwi kupuna (human remains) as well as the discovery of Depleted Uraniuim (DU) in both places.