The next congressman or congresswoman to represent Guam and/or the Northern Mariana Islands will have tremendous opportunities to impart a local Chamorro voice in the American national legislature. Next year, 2023, will be an epic year of ongoing American change and because we are part of the American imperial landscape, we too continue to have tremendous opportunities to positively affect and influence change through determined leadership and incisive thinking.
Our Mariana Islands and Micronesia is one key strategic center of gravity between the United States and China. This is so because the geographical location of our Deep Blue continent region, its sheer size and distance, makes it the most attractive region for the U.S. and China to jockey for power, position, political warfare, and advantage over time.
Our Deep Blue Ocean continent is also a bedrock of natural resources ranging from fish stock to seabed minerals and to living Pacific Islander cultural and linguistic diversity.
Tied to the hip
Our fellow Pacific Island nation citizens, especially in Micronesia, are tied to the hip of the United States for better or for worse. While past events have brought about monumental change, suffering, danger, and opportunity, we presently have emerging opportunities to engage both the United States and China once again on matters most consequential to our Deep Blue continent and our planet.
Stepping up to the plate
Micronesia and the Western Pacific is one area of the world where the U.S., China, and other powerful nations can exercise influence, engage in military maneuvers and political warfare across all domains that require relatively little, if any work, to secure diplomatic permissions for transiting purposes since our continent is ocean based.
Presently, the United States continues to bank on the idea that the Compacts of Free Association, with all the economic support and external security, will be a major solution toward ensuring long term economic, political, and perhaps environmental security of our Deep Blue continental civilizations.
As Deep Blue continent civilizations and peoples, we have the collective will and incentive structures to move towards a more robust cycle of engagement with today’s superpowers to give greater voice to our long-standing and legitimate concerns. Rising sea levels, the warming of our oceans, and altered weather patterns are just some of the reasons to be alarmed into taking on renewed interest and actions now and in the future.
Sablan, Moylan, and Won Pat Borja will have much to contend with
This midterm election cycle, both at local and federal levels, is odd for a variety of reasons. Nationally, Mr. Biden has been able to pass major climate, cost of living, and infrastructure improvement legislation in a period which continues to test the political will and collaborative efforts of both the democrats and the republicans. Locally, the outcomes of the congressional races have not been too surprising.
The next congressional representatives might be able to press the American national government to guarantee mandatory spending packaging when it comes to the Compacts of Free Association and motivate the Freely Associated States to put forth clearer roadmaps as to what specifically they will need (again) moving forward. There is nothing stopping all future congressional representatives to ask the Biden administration for formal regularly sequenced updates on progress made with regards to the Compact discussions.
In addition, our Chamorro people haven’t yet received compensation for exposures to radiation derived from the over 100 atomic bomb tests sponsored by the United States that took place in Micronesia from the 1940s up through the 1960s. This challenge has remained unresolved for quite some time.
The next congressional representatives may also find it worth their while to participate in a future congressional delegation visit to Taiwan. Taiwan is a place where the Chinese are perfecting their ability to pressure and coerce Taiwan with political and military style tactics. However, should a hot war commence, China could readily decide to also attack Andersen Air Force Base or Big Navy Guam or Tinian or Saipan.
The next congressional representatives may also find it worth their while to get a Regional Veterans Administration Medical Center designed and constructed in Guam. Our veterans remain challenged and relatively underserved compared to veterans who reside in areas such as Northern Virginia or elsewhere, where full and complete medical and mental health services can be received on a moment’s notice.
Guam and the Northern Marianas will be well served by any of these candidates currently running for a seat in the American national legislature. God knows our Marianas Islands chain needs strong and assertive representation in Washington, D.C.