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RIMPAC, missile defense harmful to Kauai

Starting Wednesday we will have five weeks of war games in our waters with 27 nations, including China. Heck we don’t want any secrets from China do we? It includes 45 ships, five submarines and 200 aircraft. Massive amounts of radar will be employed by those ships, submarines and aircraft, as well as sonar blasting along with loud military engines as these vessels ply the sea damaging marine mammal habitats and their hearing.

This has been going on every two years since 1971. Now the practice includes greater numbers of countries and greater numbers of ships and aircraft. Our military needs to practice, but with this many countries all damaging the ecosystem above and below the sea surface?

Additionally, every two years we have massive war games with South Korea, near North Korea’s border. How would we like having Russia practice military maneuvers with Mexico off Baja? That wouldn’t go over very well, would it? But we expect North Korea to believe we are not provoking them, just practicing with larger maneuvers every two years, in their backyard.

Does it make us safe? No, it triggers the unstable North Korean leader to launch his missiles. What does that accomplish? It puts Kauai in the position of converting Barking Sands PMRF’s missile testing facility into a missile defense system “to protect against threats” along with even more radar bombarding all of us 24/7.

“North Korea’s ongoing pursuit of increased nuclear capabilities are a reminder of the serious threat Hawaii and the U.S. mainland face,” Tulsi Gabbard told us. “If and when North Korea or anyone else shoots a missile to Hawaii, we can shoot it down,” Rep. James Tokioka said.

Well, we better hope so since we have antagonized them to this point. There is just one problem, our missile program does not always intercept its target, so stating that “we can shoot it down” is more of a 50/50 proposition, especially when decoys are deployed with the mid-range missiles aimed at Hawaii.

We are being told these maneuvers are to make us safe but they are doing the exact opposite. None of it is helping our marine mammals either. What is wrong with this picture?

Everything is wrong with it, and we have learned nothing at all over the decades and even less since 1971 when the first Pacific war games began.

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Paulo Tambolo is a resident of Wailua Homesteads.

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