Posted on by West Coast Action Alliance
March 2, 2016 – A blueprint for Navy expansion in a report
Big winter surf near LaPush, Washington. In spring, birds
will try to nest on these rocks while Navy jets roar overhead.
So, their silence, after all the tremendous effort to get their attention, is odd.
The few letters that have trickled back to constituents contain formulaic platitudes about national defense and the need to support our military, as well as this personal favorite: “I am monitoring the situation.” Well, that’s not the point, is it. Monitoring does little, and supporting the military does not have to mean unquestioning acceptance of them bringing combat testing and training into our lives in ways that disrupt our communities, harm our health, or damage wildlife and our tourism-based economy.
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) recently spoke up in a Senate Appropriations hearing on behalf of concerns about Army combat helicopter landings in wilderness areas of the North Cascades and southwest Washington. She specifically asked the Army if they are following all the laws and working with local stakeholders. For that she and deserves our thanks, but also a question: Why haven’t you asked the Navy the same question? If extensive legal research and media reports have repeatedly demonstrated a disregard for the law by the Navy, why are Washington’s Olympic Peninsula and its hundred thousand residents, plus three million annual visitors, not to mention a World Heritage site, being thrown under the bus? Are we second class, or have we merely been written off as a sacrifice zone?
Or maybe there’s another answer…
The 2012 blueprint for military expansion in the Pacific Northwest.
A little history might explain the puzzling silence. In 2012, a report – a blueprint, really – was published for the State of Washington by three Washington DC lobby firms. It’s called Retaining and Expanding Military Missions – Increasing Defense Spending and Investment. Clients for those three Washington DC lobbying firms clients include Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, a military munitions manufacturer, a cyber information security firm, a defense aerospace company, and, amazingly, city governments and utility and transit authorities throughout the Puget Sound area.
The Acknowledgements page of this report reads like a roll call for Washington’s elected officials and staffers at the local, state, and national level, plus defense industry executives and military lobbyists, both retired and active duty. The report thanked them all for “dozens of meetings, conference calls and briefings with more than 150 people.” It recommended that the State formalize the then-informal Washington Military Alliance as a Governor’s advisory board with a strategy and a competitive grant program. This is what a war-based economy looks like.
Read the rest of the article on West Coast Action Alliance.