US warns Pacific isles of ‘struggle’ against coercive regimes

HONIARA, Solomon Islands: A top US diplomat on Sunday (Aug 7) warned Pacific Islands of a new struggle against violent power-hungry regimes, as she visited the Solomon Islands to mark the 80th anniversary of World War II’s Battle of Guadalcanal.

With China’s military carrying out war drills around Taiwan and Russia bombarding Ukraine, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman hit out at a new crop of world leaders reviving “bankrupt” ideas about the use of force.

Attending a dawn memorial service in the Solomon Islands, Sherman said “some around the world” had forgotten the cost of war, or were ignoring the lessons of the past.

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

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

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

Painting the situation today as carrying faint echoes of the fight against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in the 1930-40s, the State Department number two urged the region to push back.

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

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