WOW...this could be big! US leaving Diego Garcia?

this from our good colleagues at gCaptain (as always not asleep at the switch)

US May Give Up Diego Garcia

By John Konrad On June 13, 2012

NASA Image Of Diego Garcia

In shocking news from Washington, the United States, Britain and Mauritius have begun talks that may lead to America losing its strategic Indian Ocean supply hub at Diego Garcia.

This news comes at a time when the Pentagon has declared the Pacific as the military’s top priority and engaged in talks to increase the number of ports in that region. The navy is a few years into a major project to build infrastructure in Guam so the prospect of handing over the western bookend of the country’s territory in Asia must worry Pentagon officials.

AOL Defense blog asked a senior Pentagon official about the news and was told ”Without commenting on discussions between other countries, the US military is the most flexible and agile in the world. We’re nimble enough to deal with any scenario, especially as we move toward a rotational posture in much of the Asia-Pacific region. Of course, it’s always preferable to have more options than fewer.”

So why would the US limit it’s options and give up a port that’s a central hub of activity for the prepositioned ships – ships run by US merchant mariners – and currently hosts important missions including drone operations in Afganistan? The Guardian newspaper in Britain said:

“After meeting David Cameron in Downing Street, the Mauritian prime minister, Navinchandra Ramgoolam, told the Guardian that the aim of talks with the UK and US was to reassert Mauritian sovereignty over the islands.”

“If Mauritius achieves its longstanding aim – supported, it says, in international law – it will mean the end of the British Indian Ocean territory. The territory was established in 1965 when Britain expelled the islanders and allowed the US to set up a large base in a deal that included cutting the cost of Polaris missiles for the UK’s nuclear submarines.”

The real question is what’s the impetus for the talks. While some experts in Britain suggest budgetary concerns and others identify the rights of native islanders others believe the reason is the United States itself. As the Guardian suggested that “the US could use the Chagos Islands to bomb Iran is another good reason why the UK must restore them to Mauritius.”

Wow! The entire US Naval strategy for the Indian Ocean Region will have to completely change over this if it happens. Go to Bahrain with the ships? Singapore? Guam?

This could get really interesting to say the least…
Would the ships be stationed somewhere else or just RRF’d?.. What about the mariners on these ships that haven’t been out to sea in years, it will take months for them to sober up and actually get back to being mariners…j/k… Depending how the govt handles this, it could be Ok or really F Up the USMM

A lot can happen in 4 years, which is when our lease is up. Guam is being plussed up for submarines and their crews so it’s conceivable part of the port load could go there. SIngapore has been in the news for allowing the positioning of 4 surface ships, may be they will allow some additional port loading as well.

D’gar recently upgraded the wharf and forward deployed a Submarine Tender there. Four years is a ways down the road, maybe the whole thing will turn out to be a money grab by Mauritius.

[QUOTE=Jeffrox;71680] maybe the whole thing will turn out to be a money grab by Mauritius.[/QUOTE]

My thoughts as well. There is potentially way to much money at stake to just say goodbye to Uncle Sam.

[QUOTE=CaptAndrew;71696]My thoughts as well. There is potentially way to much money at stake to just say goodbye to Uncle Sam.[/QUOTE]

I wouldn’t be too sure that money is the issue here. Islanders kicked off their home and forced to resettle somewhere else might not be willing to be paid off.

Money didn’t stop the Philippines from kicking the USN out of Subic bay. Mt. Pinatubo took care of the USAF at Clark, which at the time was the largest US military base outside the US, but the facilities as Subic were just fine and strategically much more important than Clark.

I bet the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard now regret, with the shinanigans at Scarborough Shoal of late, that they don’t have the large permanent USN presence just over the horizon.

There was a high court case in the UK ( with UN help) about 5 years ago with the former inhabitants who are still refugees in Mauirtitias and other countries, and they sued the UK governement due to the forced evacuation.
The case was about compensation and there was an order to pay out and resettle the people.
The government refused and it made history being the first time the UK government defied the court.
There was a documentry about it.