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Document: Report to Congress on Naval Station Guantanamo Bay History, Lease Agreement

The following is the Nov. 17, 2016 Congressional Research Service report, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay: History and Legal Issues Regarding Its Lease Agreements.


via fas.org

  • Curtis Conway

    What was conspicuously missing from this report is ANY tactical or strategic analysis of the greater Caribbean Region, and how Guantanamo Cuba Naval Base factors into that equation. Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station is closed, although most of the facilities are still there. Howard AFB in Panama is no more. The only major military installation in the region is GITMO. The US Coast Guard maintains the greatest presence in San Juan, Puerto Rico and other ports, and several services support their operations from time to time, primarily Legal Detachments aboard naval vessels conducting patrols in the region. With the reduction of the number of Hamilton Class High Endurance Cutters from twelve (12) to eight (8), although congress did begin the approval of construction funds for the 9th recently, and the retirement of the fifty three (53) Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) FFG-7 Frigates, LEDET rides are now a bit more expensive using DDG-51 Class Aegis Destroyers, or CG-47 Class Aegis Cruisers. This analysis alone should necessitate the one-for-one replacement of the Hamilton Class High Endurance Cutters with Legend Class National Security Cutters, and perhaps (given pressures in the Arctic) grow a few. The necessity of maintaining a base in the Caribbean Region for Joint Service Operations is more important today than ever before. Between Nicaragua and Venezuela, Russia has really been trying to make an impact on the region, with little push-back from the current administration. The War on Drugs, and the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) have not, and will not go away, and require a base of operations in one of the ‘primary areas’ for this traffic, the Caribbean Basin.

    Therefore, unless another base of operations is to be established in this region, then GITMO must persist for the foreseeable future, and that double-duty Frigate Escort that used to be a favorite ride for the US Coast Guard LEDETs should be designed and built in quantity. After all, those expensive DDG-51 Flt IIA Destroyers (USS Nitze (DDG-94) & USS Mason (DDG-87)) were ESCORTING (a mission the US Navy has told us no longer existed, so the OHP FFG-7s could be retired) the USS PONCE (AFSB(I)-15) when they defended it against missile attack from Houthi rebels in Yemen, firing Chinese-built C-802 anti-ship missiles provided by Iran. HUUMMM . . . It is amazing how one little thing affects SO MANY other things. Conducting Law Enforcement Operations from an expensive Aegis Guided Missile Cruiser/Destroyer capable of Integrated Air & Missile Defense in the Caribbean, is beyond the pale. A mission for an LCS?

    • DaSaint

      GITMO will probably continue for another 20 years, then the USN will allow commercial development on half the base as a US-owned resort.

      • Curtis Conway

        CLUB GITMO!

  • Hampton Dowling

    In 2010, DoD/NAVAIR asked me to do a [classified] assessment of all DoD/Federal sponsored counter-narcoterrorism programs from VZ north to MX/GU border and Caribbean. It was eye-opening. Our overall lack of ANY effective capabilities (i.e., physical assets, surveillance of all types, info systems etc.) in the Caribbean, approaches to/from Panama & Colombia, and up into the Gulf is almost unbelievable.
    We gave up Vieques Island for training in large part because Al Gore was pushing for a then democrat primary vote from Puerto Rico. Since then, LANTFLT Navy lacks a real training environment with high reliance upon simulators. Ex-NAVSTA Roosevelt Roads is THE royal gem of facilities as it continues to sit unused for both military and private sector use… and as Puerto Rico continues to sink with a lower productivity level than almost all third world countries – shameful. We gave up interest in recovering/keeping Clark AFB and Naval Station Subic Bay in 1991 and now deeply regret it. RRoads and GITMO could be/should be SOUTHCOM’s center-of-gravity for developing partnerships with LatAm navies and other military organizations. USN could again get real training instead of simulator-based familiarization. There’s no visible forward thinking of how to use these capability-rich installations. It would be sad, so terribly sad, if today’s self-induced, political ideology-driven budget shortfalls drive a decision to give up GITMO and not save RRoads. As China (the number one foreign investor in ALL of LatAm) expands its presence and the majority of South American governments continue to drift away from US leadership, we need to invest in these installations or pay a price later for not being prepared for what challenges most surely lie beyond our horizon. The notion of using part of GITMO for any private use is yet another example of politics at the expense of what’s best for our country and the region. We never learn and always pay later – tragic.

  • old guy

    STEP 1 Get rid of President B.O.
    2 DECLARE WAR ON ISIS/ISIL
    3. Designate Gitmo as a P.O.W. camp
    4. Stick those captured in battle in Gitmo.
    5. Let them rot there ’til ISIS/ISIL formally surrenders.
    6. To save space, shoot anyone out of uniform, as spies.
    7. If they don’t come up with an official uniform, too bad,….that’s the GENEVA Convention