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"Will The U.S. Give-Up Diego Garcia?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2020 7:39 p.m. PST

"Will the U.S. choose its closest ally over the international rule of law?

Mauritius does not usually make headlines in the United States, but this small island state off the east coast of Africa could force the U.S. to rethink operations in the Middle East and Asia and strategic policy around the globe.

The country has recently notched victories at the International Court of Justice and UN General Assembly in its battle to take from Britain its sovereignty of the Chagos Archipelago. The largest of these islands, Diego Garcia, has for decades been a key logistics, reconnaissance, and operational base for U.S. forces. While many factors are at play, including discussion about the Chagossian people, the Diego Garcia case reveals two critical dimensions that warrant attention by U.S. policymakers now…"


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USAFpilot13 Jul 2020 7:56 p.m. PST

I flew resupply missions there many times. Very small Island in a big ocean. There is not much there beyond a runway. I think this is all about shaking down the UK and US for money. Nobody wants to live on Diego Garcia.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2020 8:33 p.m. PST

Apparently quite a few called it home before they were forced off the island.

"Three years before the depopulation plan was created, the British Governor of Mauritius, Sir Robert Scott, estimated the permanent population of Diego Garcia at 1,700."

"Sir Bruce Greatbatch, KCVO, CMG, MBE, governor of the Seychelles, ordered all the dogs on Diego Garcia to be killed. More than 1000 pets were gassed with exhaust fumes. "They put the dogs in a furnace where the people worked", Lisette Talatte, in her 60s, told me, "and when their dogs were taken away in front of them our children screamed and cried". Sir Bruce had been given responsibility for what the US called "cleansing" and "sanitising" the islands; and the killing of the pets was taken by the islanders as a warning."


Skarper13 Jul 2020 8:39 p.m. PST

The Chagossian islanders very much DO want to live there.

It's a very shameful story and for once it happened under my favorite UK PM – Harold Wilson. I suspect an element of extortion was involved but the papers remain sealed and will likely remain so.

The US won't give up its base no matter what happens or who is President. The US is virtually a militocracy [I made that up] and the facilities they have built on this island enable them to reach China, the Middle East etc.

There is just too much at stake.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2020 12:40 a.m. PST

I doubt we'll ever give it up, since if we do, the Chinese will just move in and take over.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2020 1:31 a.m. PST

No way we;ll give it up.Mauritus just wants more money.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2020 3:42 a.m. PST

+1 Thresher

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2020 5:28 a.m. PST

We would never give up Subic Bay…and then we did.
We would never give up The Panama Canal…and then we did.

It seems to me that we might give up Diego Garcia under the right circumstances or the wrong US executive chief.

Andrew Walters14 Jul 2020 9:33 a.m. PST

Surely there are other little islands the US or Chinese could rent? Cost should just be based on supply and demand, and only two to four nations in the world are shopping and there are dozens of suitable islands. Diego Garcia was originally diplomatically convenient rather than being valuable some other way.

Skarper14 Jul 2020 9:58 a.m. PST

Considerable infrastructure has been built there – not just the runway.

The case of the Chagossians, though open and shut from a moral stand point, has little muscle behind it.

The lease expired in 2016 [I think].

US will stay a lot longer. I'd wager everybody alive now will be dead before they leave. No way to collect on that bet though!

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2020 10:46 a.m. PST

What happened with the original 1700 inhabitants … were they moved to the USA?…did they collect any kind of cash compensation?…


Personal logo jdginaz Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2020 6:38 p.m. PST

I have a friend who's son is a merchant marine engineer and has been working out of DG for 2 or 3 years now. according to him DG couldn't support more than a token population without major support from out side.

Skarper14 Jul 2020 8:21 p.m. PST

1700 islanders lived there in the 1960s with no outside help.

They were deported to Mauritius with no compensation and live in abject poverty. It really is a appalling story.

Youtube has many excellent documentaries about this chapter.

The UK Gov was and still is complicit.

Uparmored15 Jul 2020 1:37 a.m. PST

So these DG Islanders, they were rich before they were relocated?

Skarper15 Jul 2020 1:51 a.m. PST

In many ways yes. They were happy. Food was abundant. They had an income from local resources.

There is no way to sugar coat or spin this crime. Their land was stolen, they were dispossessed and got no compensation.

It was a different time in the 1960s people like the Chagossians were not considered fully human.

There is absolutely no excuse for what the US and UK did.

USAFpilot15 Jul 2020 5:33 a.m. PST

"Uninhabited until the late 18th century, Diego Garcia had no indigenous population."


Read for yourselves and draw your own conclusions without all the spin.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2020 11:51 a.m. PST

Poor people…Instead of going down demolishing statues of famous ancestors … I would like more to see those people claiming for the poor, forcibly dispossessed of their lands …


Skarper15 Jul 2020 8:46 p.m. PST

Read that link and much more. What is this 'spin' of which you speak?

Uparmored18 Jul 2020 2:01 a.m. PST

Thanks for posting actual information USAF Pilot.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2020 12:24 p.m. PST

So, they'd only lived there a couple of hundred years…I guess that explains why they did not "own" the land?

Andy ONeill18 Jul 2020 3:33 p.m. PST

If you read even that wiki article.
You'll see they didn't "own" the land.
They didn't own it.

It was the middle of nowhere.
One company owned the land.
More like a big farm than some island paradise.
The people ( i guess) you're assuming are natives robbed of their wossname…
More like farm workers.

Bit more complicated than that.
As life tends to be.
The land was low value.
Retirees and whatnot had shacks on beaches or unused bits.
Scratching a living with a little boat or a few chickens.

But this isn't the big country picks on natives story it might seem.

Skarper18 Jul 2020 9:32 p.m. PST

I don't see how any of that makes any difference Andy ONeill.

I doubt it would make you feel any better about it if something similar happened to you.

It's a shameful chapter in UK and US history, any way you spin it.

Personal logo jdginaz Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2020 6:23 p.m. PST

@Skarper Your just bound and determined for this to a shameful act no matter the facts.

Skarper19 Jul 2020 11:59 p.m. PST

I just call it as I see it. How can evicting locals without compensation from their home not be shameful? How would you feel if it happened to you?

RudyNelson20 Jul 2020 12:36 p.m. PST

The US has a law that allows the government to take over private land. Often at rates well below appraised values.
If the US government wants it, they will take it. Needs to happen more often overseas.

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