The Common Good
September-October 1999

Bombs Away…

by Andrew Schleicher | September-October 1999

A U.S. military accident in Puerto Rico has fueled opposition to U.S. military bases
and troops stationed there. During a training session in April, U.S.

A U.S. military accident in Puerto Rico has fueled opposition to U.S. military bases and troops stationed there. During a training session in April, U.S. Navy jets accidentally dropped bombs on an observation tower, killing one civilian and wounding four other people. Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Rossello said of the incident, "There must exist a viable alternative to the shelling, bombing, and strafing of populated areas."

Meanwhile, the Japanese Diet upheld in May a controversial agreement between Japan and the United States. In certain circumstances, the pact would require Japanese troops to support a military engagement by U.S. forces stationed there. This appears to conflict with Japan’s Peace Constitution, which states, "The Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes." Japanese citizens have opposed U.S. bases in the country because of questionable constitutionality, negative environmental impacts, forced renting of private land to the U.S. military, and a high rate of accidents.

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