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HOOSER: Hawai‘i-based defense radar a bad idea

Expanding the Pacific Missile Range Facility via a new, $1.9-billion radar project that the Pentagon doesn’t want, says isn’t needed and will be obsolete before it’s even completed, is a bad idea.

The benefits of the pork are simply not worth the negative baggage that comes with it.

The waste of taxpayer funds, the increased militarization of our island (and the planet), the inevitable negative environmental impacts, the false economy this expansion would create, the inflated housing costs and the continued erosion of access to this beautiful coastline are only some of the negatives that will be forthcoming should this project move forward.

The proposal reeks of what is no doubt a well-intended, basic political desire to “take care of the district” by bringing home the bacon of jobs and economic development. While the goal of supporting Hawai‘i’s economy is a worthy one, the path of increased military spending on this particular project especially is not.

Last year the Pentagon itself actually attempted to defund the $1.9-billion Homeland Defense Radar – Hawai‘i project. According to the widely-read publication Defense News, Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jon Hill said “that the agency decided to hit the brakes on its plans to set up the radars in the Pacific, instead are planning to take a new look at the sensor architecture in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command region.”

Hill also indicated that the region was already protected by “…forward-deployed AN/TPY-2 radar in Hawai‘i as well as the deployable Sea-Based X-Band radar. Additionally, Aegis ships with their radars are mobile and can be repositioned as needed to address threats in the near term.”

“Yet, over the summer, the Hawaiian radar gained traction in Congress via funding support in the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee’s version of the FY21 defense-spending bill and the Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the defense-policy bill.” Defense News reported.

Bottom line: This project is driven by politics and pork.

I get it. Our elected representatives and those elected representatives in the districts where Lockheed Martin and other military defense contractors are based want the money and the jobs that will be created by this project.

However, as residents and taxpayers, we should say “thanks but no thanks.” Instead of increased military spending (on a project that is not even a high military priority and based on old technology), what we really need is funding for infrastructure, affordable housing and health/social services.

My father was a career Navy man, a chief boatswain’s mate who served honorably for over 30 years. I have friends and relatives who are veterans and who now serve in the Middle East. I am proud and thankful for their service, and I believe the United States must maintain a strong defense.

The amount of money spent globally on militarism is obscene. According to numerous public sources, annual military spending by the United States was $732 billion in 2019 and accounted for 38% of global military expenditures. China was second at $261 billion, followed by India at $71 billion, and Russia in fourth place at $65.1 billion. For some context: North Korea spent $3.6 billion, Iran spent between $12 and $20 billion, and Afghanistan $0.23 billion.

In addition to far outspending virtually every other country in the world, the U.S. also is the top seller of military arms on the planet.

The United States was the largest exporter of major arms from 2015 to 2019, delivering 76% more material than runner-up Russia. According to a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute study reported in Defense News, “The U.S. provided major arms — defined as air-defense systems, armored vehicles, missiles and satellites, among other material — to 96 countries in those five years, with half of the weapons going to the Middle East.”

Kaua‘i and all Hawai‘i can and should lead on this by simply saying “no.” We don’t need, nor do we want, to be part of this madness. Use the $1.9 billion for education, health care and housing, please.

The Missile Defense Agency is sponsoring a scoping session prior to preparing a draft EIS for the radar project. It closes on April 12. Its purpose is to select one of two sites for the radar, or choose the no-action alternative (the right choice). The two sites are PMRF and the Kahuku Training Area on O‘ahu.

The public is invited to testify, and they are especially interested in environmental and cultural inputs. How to testify: by email, Subject Line: MDA HDR-H EIS; by phone (four-minute maximum): 1-888-473-6650.


Gary Hooser is the former vice-chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and served eight years in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Council, and was the former director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. He serves presently in a volunteer capacity as board president of the Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action and is executive director of the Pono Hawai‘i Initiative.

  1. alien March 24, 2021 5:31 am Reply

    Says the guy who supports a party that loves to occupy ,bomb and destroy brown people daily.

    1. Citation needed March 24, 2021 1:18 pm Reply

      Please back that up with data.

      1. alien March 25, 2021 7:24 am Reply

        You can’t be that naïve. Maybe google wars/middle east.

        1. Citation needed March 25, 2021 6:07 pm Reply

          The onus is on the one who makes the claim.

    2. tunataxi March 28, 2021 8:31 am Reply

      Yea.. remember when the democrats invaded Iraq and changed the world FOREVER… pretty sure it was a republican named Bush

  2. USAF BRAT March 24, 2021 7:00 am Reply

    C~Span II 2018 video, “Kaua’i” choice, then TGI posts USAF “arrives”, then Ige password “oops” blame for incoming Ballistic Missile launched out from Cali, Vandenberg AFB, “this is not a drill”, and was seen intercepted SSW Niihau by local fishing boatsmen. THEN, tour helicoptor crash due to breaching that military airspace zone which includes two NaPali ridges west to McArthur Park, which is completely controlled by PMRF!

    Only now Hoses awaken and tries publishing Old news, which i was dismissed from after that hearing informational video aired. TGI not publishing my information on this, which i posted days, not years after, and now as usual, deceivingly. DC Congress and Hawaii have the same BO and BS. Not about Radar which has been placed 50-years earlier, this is about Ballistic missiles.

    THAT military hearing obtained almost “1.4 Billion” $$$, erecting as we speak, a 12-story launch-intercept ballistic missile facility to be completed by 2022 without EIS, under “national security” ploy! This was the real reason why Polihale was closed. This boondoggle cannot have a bunch of civilians running around an area so intensely controlled by the U.S. Occupiers (NASA, Navy, USAF) as well as all the politicojudicio pundit circus clowns over almost 13-Decades earlier and without that “treaty of annexation”.

    The hui has been liar status, planning and now it is time for them to “Pay to Play”. Colonel Lilikoi, GT and HKGA has manifested and WE the people are well aware of the processes that will shut them ALL down! Hoses Mob Cabal can fool some of the people some of the time, but NOT all of the people all of the time.

  3. nothings free March 24, 2021 8:06 am Reply

    Another rare instance of actually agreeing with Mr. Hooser on something! One point he makes caught my attention.
    “The amount of money spent globally on militarism is obscene. According to numerous public sources, annual military spending by the United States was $732 billion in 2019 and accounted for 38% of global military expenditures.”
    I would ask you Mr. Hooser to feel even more angry about the multi Trillions of dollars spent on the Covid hoax. Why hoax? Because the actual number of Covid deaths is no more than the few nasty flu viruses that have affected us in the past. Think SARS that they claim killed 10%, or 3 times more than Covid’s 3%! Google it! You’ve been duped by the math when it comes to Covid “deaths”! The slight of hand is that they say Covid has killed 3% of the “REPORTED” cases of the Virus? What! Because Covid doesn’t even physically affect millions of the people who contact it to the point of knowing they had it, they’re not included in the fake statistic!. Covid doesn’t demonstrably affect most healthy individuals from 1 to 49 years old who it infects! if we count all “UNREPORTED” cases of Covid in the numbers, it doesn’t kill many more of us than the normal flu every year. How can you have a “Pandemic” when the total death rates of all Americans every year for the past decades didn’t go up at all in the so called “Pandemic” year of 2020? Google it and calculate the numbers! This “Pandemic” gets even more ridiculous when we learn that Hospitals actually make more money the more cases of Covid they claim their patients die from. A death bed Cancer, Heart Disease, Pulmonary Disease, false test positive, or just plain old, patient dies, the Government will send your Hospital “free” money for every Covid cause of death! What cause of death would you report? Write about “Destroying our Economy and Bankrupting Small Business America” for nothing Mr. Hoosier. But then you’re a flaming Democrat/Socialist, and that would not be approved by the corrupt “Politicians” who are making their own “Pandemic” fortunes at the expense of our hard working citizens!

    1. Jamie Rainbow March 24, 2021 11:16 am Reply

      Please stop quoting the fake news outlets. My mother in law died Dec, 31 of 2020, She had tested covid positive 10 days earlier but her death certificate lists cause of death as pulmonary failure, no covid mentioned. Also my cousin has been on a ventilator since Jan 18 2021 and he is 43 with no comorbidity. So If you are on Kauai and have not seen what is real with covid consider yourself very blessed. I am in California. It’s not a conspiracy, get a mask, get a shot and get a life.

      1. Doug March 24, 2021 1:12 pm Reply

        Thank you Jamie Rainbow for bringing some reality to this island. People were so protected here that we did not experience what the mainland experienced. Sorry for your loss.

  4. Mahalo Article March 24, 2021 8:24 am Reply

    Thanks for the heads up on the Defense finances.

    We spend $4 Trillion a year on Medical Care, and its prescription drugs and treatments and surgeries, which is about 5 1/2 times the amount of money spent in defense.

    Yet every year more and more people get more and more diseases while the medical people make more and more money on disease care, while little money is spent on the preventions and avoidance of disease.

    Each year the Health of our people gets worse and worse and using more and more toxic and lethal prescription drugs than the year and years before.

    Just as Peace is the solution to War and Defense, so too Health and disease prevention is the solution to Disease care and disease treatment.

    Make our nation Healthy, the outcome is worth it.

  5. Valerie March 24, 2021 8:38 am Reply

    What are the odds of intercepts when multiple decoys and multiple missiles are launched simultaneously which is the likelihood for an actual enemy missile attack?

    This installation will take up more of our island in restricted land space and contribute to our radar overload from PMRF which currently bathes the entire island and far out to sea.

  6. Kauaidoug March 24, 2021 11:39 am Reply

    Thanks but no thanks to the radar. IF the pentagon doesn’t need this we certainly don’t either.

  7. Kauai Boy Mainland March 24, 2021 12:12 pm Reply

    So, I guess TGI is now a propaganda outlet? I have never seen such access by a politician to a local news outlet.

    1. Where have you been March 24, 2021 1:20 pm Reply

      The “other side” gets plenty of space. Some would say too much!

  8. Imua44 March 25, 2021 6:16 am Reply

    The USA, like it or not, needs a military.
    This project is good for Kauai . Good for the country.
    PMRF has been a good neighbor. The westside old timers like PMRF.
    The rich newcomers and unrealistic unicorns like Mr Hose, do not like military, jobs or housing.

    1. Paulo March 25, 2021 12:46 pm Reply

      PMRF is a good neighbor if you don’t count the substantial amount of heavy radar being broadcast 24/7. It can be hazardous to wildlife as well as cumulative in humans. In looking it up the military is aware that radiation has been implied as a cause of cancer, of brain and internal organ damage, cataracs and impotence/shrinking testicles. What they don’t say is how much you would need to receive to cause this. They do say it is hazardous to birds and in many places can be turned off during bird migrations. Our Radar at PMRF is always on and you know it’s gotta be substantial. Now they want to add this ICBM tracker that will have radar tracking for thousands of miles, adding to what we already have constantly.

      1. WestKauai March 25, 2021 3:44 pm Reply


        Radar is NOT on 24/7 at PMRF. When the various radars are transmitting, there is no hazard beyond a few feet of their antennas, where access is prohibited.

        1. JC March 27, 2021 6:08 pm Reply

          PMRF is NOT a good neighbor. Good neighbors dont kick other neighbors off the public beaches they have had access to for 50 years for no reason. Good neighbors dont stop other neighbors from camping on Majors Bay, and only let employees and military camp there. Good neighbors dont bully people.

    2. tunataxi March 28, 2021 8:35 am Reply

      PMRF is not a good neighbor …they restricted our access during the Iraq war and never gave it back… they want more now ?? They will not stop until the west end of Mana is overtaken completely

  9. numilalocal March 27, 2021 1:15 pm Reply

    Gary, why don’t you go and visit all the adversaries who continue to threaten this country – like North Korea, China and Russia. You can ask them to just be nice and leave us alone. Fat chance. Like TR said, walk softly and carry a big stick. And I add be prepared to use it if you need to.

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