By Angie Zelter

For five years, the Gangjeong villagers on the Island of Jeju, Republic of Korea (ROK/South Korea), have nonviolently and bravely resisted the construction of a naval base on their land. The proposed ROK naval base would cover 50 hectares of prime agricultural land and would be available for unlimited use by the United States (US) navy and military and would be used to host aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and AEGIS warships that are part of the US anti-ballistic missile defence (MD) system. It is also likely that the base would be used in the conflict with China that the US is planning and openly preparing for. The US Space Command have been computer war-gaming a first-strike attack on China (set in the year 2016) and the MD (really missile offence) is a key part of US first-strike strategy. MD systems have also proven to be capable anti-satellite weapons and they are driving a new arms race with Russia and China.

Nina Regli

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan arrived in Switzerland this year: a Swiss newspaper reported that Aegis Defence Service, one of the biggest private security companies, had opened a holding base in Basel. Aegis Defence Service, based primarily in London, employs 20,000 mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan who typically work on contract for the American defence ministry.

The USA section of Amnesty International focuses in their 2006 annual report on the role of private military contractors. PMCs are one of the most scandalous part of the spectrum of war profiteering and the U.S. government is their main contract provider “the U.S. government is outsourcing key security and military support functions, particular in Iraq and Afghanistan, to private companies whose civilian employees carry out the work.

Three US peace activists - Audrey Stewart, Jessica Stewart and Steve Cohen -acting in solidarity with the recently imprisoned Prince of Peace Plowshares [see page v), boarded the Aegis destroyer US Mahan at the Bath Iron Works, Maine, USA on 10 November. They spattered the ship with their own blood, scattered flowers and left statements declaring their stance against the Aegis destroyers and all other weapons of mass destruction. "One Aegis has the capability to destroy an entire continent," they said.

Subscribe to Aegis