Think About It: Bombs Away - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 23, 2015

Think About It: Bombs Away

It was a small article in the Neighbor Islands section of last Friday's Star-Advertiser, but it sure made me think. What is the price of war? What is the price of peace? What is the price of preparation? Freedom is priceless, but it sure is costly. Take, for example this small article last week that mentioned the price to clear ordnance in a training area used during World War II that was known as the Waikoloa Maneuver Area.

 The estimated cost to clear the area is $723-million. And the timeline? 70-years. That's right… 70-years. And since it's been 70-years since the end of World War II, this whole process, and that might be h-o-l-e, will end up being 140-years in the making. Back in WWII, the area was a training facility which including artillery exercises. The public has two weeks to comment on the proposed clean-up plan, but if this figure is accurate, and if inflation exceeds current estimates, the Waikoloa Maneuver Area clean-up plan could end up costing over a billion dollars by the year 2085. That's what it will take to clean up high explosive mortars, projectiles, rocket propelled anti-tank rounds, hand grenades, rockets, anti-tank land mines, and Japanese ordnance

And when it's "cleaned up", who will be the first to venture in there? Who wants to stake a claim to an area that will take 140-years to refurbish? Hard to envision entrepreneurs bidding on this lot. I have no doubt the site served its purpose at a very traumatic time for this then-territory and the country as a whole, but seeing both the projected timetable and astounding costs are a very stark reminder of the sometimes never-ending price of war. Think about it…

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