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Letter for Monday, June 6, 2022

Congressional delegation does about-face on radar

All four of Hawai‘i’s Washingon legislators have done an about face from their support for the $2 billion Homeland Defense Radar-Hawai‘i, proposed for the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, concluding that it would be obsolete by the time it was operational.

U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele went further to cite local opposition, drawing from his personal meetings with Kaua‘i residents and learning their fears of daily life and commerce disruption on the Westside, infrastructure and environmental harms, and lost freedoms to access the shoreline.

Once again, Kaua‘i’s independent spirit is on display in the face of military and government intrusion.

But the alternative to the HDR-H now being promoted by the Department of Defense and our legislators, a “more comprehensive next generation system” of missile defense, would be the Joint All-Domain Command and Control, an insanely expensive global, space-based network of satellites, along with air and on-and-below-surface ocean detectors, any one of which would be capable of ordering the split-second launch of counteroffensive missiles.

Algorythms are being designed to make launch decisions using artificial intelligence.

This is from the Missile Defense Agency, that in its 30-plus-year history has only intercepted the practice threat missile, in scripted, not-real-world-condition tests, about half the time.

The Congressional Budget Office projects the Missile Defense Agency budget will grow by 40% over the next 10 years.

The only sure winners of this extravagant gambit would be war-for-profit companies like Lockheed Martin, the winning bidder for the HDR-H contract. Last year LM received more federal dollars than the State Department and USAid combined; $44B to $40B. That speaks volumes about the direction of US foreign policy. If we are ever to negotiate our way out of endless wars and away from the nuclear abyss, it will be the State Department’s job to conduct diplomacy.

But as the saying goes, when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and that seems the mindset today in the Washington halls of power.

Studies show an increase in military spending historicaly corresponds to a drop in spending on health care and slower economic growth generally. And further spending on our military, the world’s biggest fossil-fuel consumer, makes it the world’s worst atmospheric-polluting entity.

“The needs of American families far outweigh continually feeding our bloated military budget,” said U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, co-chair of the House Defense Spending Reduction Caucus.

“Expert analysis from across the political spectrum concludes we can cut the military budget without compromising national security or reducing the support, pay or benefits to our men and women in uniform,” she said.

We should encourage our legislators to be a part of this growing movement.

Kip Goodwin, Wailua Homesteads
Source: The Garden Island

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