US warns Pacific islands against ‘fighting’ coercive regimes

HONIARA, Solomon Islands: A senior US diplomat on Sunday (August 7) ​​warned the Pacific Islands of a renewed struggle against violent power-hungry regimes as she traveled to the Solomon Islands to mark the 80th anniversary of the battle of Guadalcanal during World War II.

As China’s military conducted war exercises around Taiwan and Russia bombed Ukraine, Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman lashed out at a new wave of world leaders rekindling “bankrupt” ideas about the use of force.

Visiting a battlefield memorial in the Solomon Islands, Sherman said “some in the world” had forgotten the cost of war or ignored the lessons of the past.

She denounced “leaders who believe that coercion, pressure and violence are tools to be used with impunity”, without naming any leader by name.

Sherman leads a US delegation to the Solomon Islands to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The brutal seven-month land, sea and air battle between Allied and Japanese forces killed tens of thousands of soldiers – mostly Japanese – and marked a turning point in the war.

Portraying the current situation as carrying faint echoes of the struggle against Nazism and Imperial Japan in the 1930s-40s, the State Department’s number two urged the region to back down.

“We remember how bankrupt such views were then, how empty they were and remain so today,” she said.

“Today we are once again engaged in a different kind of struggle – a struggle that will last for some time to come.”