Abstract

This article explores the colonial-militarized circumstance of the Marianas Archipelago as both a homefront and a frontline of the United States. I argue that the United States reinforces and relies on imperial and gendered ideologies to justify militarized notions of security through the “Pivot to the Pacific” foreign policy. Through the discourse of providing “protection,” expanding militarization of the islands is possible through the continued political subordination of the residents. Within this protection framework, the residents are denied political self-determination by the US federal government, while the islands and seas are strategic military installations for the US Department of Defense. Conversely, the Mariana Islands are also spaces of prolonged decolonization struggle and ongoing indigenous resistance to militarism. This article applies a decolonized and gendered lens to highlight how indigenous Chamoru women navigate between federal colonial systems and everyday militarized spaces. Privileging Chamoru women’s epistemologies and approaches, I analyze how two high-ranking women decision makers in the Mariana Islands encourage and support the colonial-militarized relationship with the United States, while an indigenous Chamoru women’s organization and a Chamoru academic actively oppose it. Overall, the current situation in the Marians Islands provides an example of the unequally militarized world as a US colonial homefront and a militarized frontline.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 97-135
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-12
Open Access
No
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