2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2009 11:42:51 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] GLOBAL: Diego Garcia (Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean)
The UK's role in Diego Garcia: green fingers or red faces?

Sean Carey
New Statesman (UK)
September 7, 2009

Sean Carey talks to Peter H Sand about his new book, United States and Britain in Diego Garcia.

Q. Can you tell me more about the Marine Protection Area that the UK government is considering setting up around the Chagos islands?

A. Over the past six years, there has been an extraordinary scramble for ocean space by several big powers, all claiming jurisdiction far beyond their national territorial waters under the noble pretext of nature conservation. In April 2003, French President Chirac declared a 60-mile "ecological protection zone" in the Mediterranean, followed in September 2003 by the British Prime Minister Blair's proclamation of a 200-mile "environment protection and preservation zone" in the Chagos Archipelago, only to be outdone in June 2006 and January 2009 by US President Bush proclaiming several even larger "national marine monuments" around US atolls in the Pacific Ocean.

A. When I started to do research on all those new "green" ocean reserves, it turned out that most of them happened to enclose or adjoin some strategically important military bases - such as Guam, Wake, Johnston and Midway in the Pacific, or Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. That's what aroused my curiosity about the real motives behind this sudden wave of big-power environmentalism.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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