MICHAEL LUCHAN BEVACQUA: But eventually a lot of that cooled as people became very concerned about the US military's plans to take more land on the island and the fact that most of the money, the spending would go to off-island companies and so very little of it, these build ups wouldn't create a great deal of jobs, they would drive up the cost of living on the island. It is smaller than it was originally proposed, but there are still a lot of concerns about this.
JOHNNY BLADES: You've got, on Guam, a THAAD anti-missile system which is pretty state-of-the-art. How do people on Guam feel about the fact that this is such an important military strategic point.
MLB: It's definitely mixed feelings because the more military you put in a place, the more it becomes a target. But the feeling is the same that the less military you have the more you are a target as well. And so this is the experience of Guam which is people living on the edge of Asia, living between empires, between competing geo-political interests. The placing of the THAAD here and certain US increases sort of aimed at Russia, North Korea or China - we are told that makes us safe, at the same time though we are the tip of the spear, as the United States has called us, and it's hard for the tip of the spear to feel safe.
JB: Guam's proximity to some of those enemies makes it sort of an unwitting player in the action.
MLB: Oh yes. China has developed Guam killer missiles named specifically for our islands because they see our island as a threat to them because of what the US military puts here. China has not developed Palau missiles o Palau killers, it has not developed Tahitian killers. They're developing them specifically for us because the US uses us as their forward strategic point for the projection of force. So a lot of this has changed because the game has changed, because China is moving into the South China Sea, has developed greater missile capabilities that can target and hit Guam and North Korea continues to test.
JB: Just because their missile the other day went down in the Japan Sea, it doesn't necessarily mean that they don't have one that can go further.
MLB: Yeah, it's hard to feel safe because in a sense we exist in the American mindset to keep them safe. As the tip of the spear, our value is that we are a weapon to keep the homeland safe. But more and more people are starting to question, is there any concern for our safety in this?