Automatic Spending Cuts Would Jeopardize Guam Realignment, Analysts Say
The planned move of 4,700 Marines from Okinawa to Guam likely would be abandoned if $500 billion in automatic cuts to defense spending are imposed starting next January, according to defense analysts.
“There is no doubt the Marine movement to Guam would be scrapped under sequestration,” Mackenzie Eaglen, defense analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, told Guampdn.com.
“The money for these types of activities and military construction is already being reduced in the pending defense budget due to ongoing spending cuts,” Eaglen said.
The relocation already has been slowed by numerous factors, including the Japanese government’s failure to agree on a replacement site for Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and the lack of infrastructure on Guam to handle the influx. More recently, the two nations scaled down the number of personnel that would move from Japan and the U.S. Congress suspended funding for the initiative until DOD completes additional planning.