RMI-U.S. relations take another turn for the worse: Tomeing-deBrum government slowly spins out of control, buffeted by failure-after-failure

Reports from within RMI government indicate low morale and confusion as failures add up to a record of gross incompetence:

  • RMI Foreign Minister’s ultimatum to U.S. on Kwajalein base rights payments backfired, U.S. stands firm on Compact law provisions, and landowners want the new level of payments held in the escrow account, even though deBrum called increased payments approved by Congress an “insult.”
  • Minister Tony deBrum’s bungled attempt to impose its ambassadorial appointment on U.S. backfired, leaving embassy top post unmanned at critical moment in bilateral relations.
  • Tony’s incompetent handling of potential $100 million nuclear claims legislation in U.S. Congress (S. 1756) was followed by dishonest explanation to the RMI parliament, and his sloppy attempt to correct his mistake after 9 months of do-nothing attitude, also backfires after deBrum disrespectfully taunts Congress with weak endorsement of bill, seen by all as too little too late.
  • Desperate deBrum attempt to make OTEC alternative energy project for Kwajalein a condition for Kwajalein land use agreement backfires, because OTEC requires private investment that may or may not happen, making U.S. agreement to buy power from OTEC project virtually irrelevant to Kwajalein land use issue.

Now we have reports from sources in RMI government that deBrum pushed new land use law through RMI parliament, reportedly giving adjacent landowners property right over land fill for public works projects and requiring additional compensation. Details are still sketchy, but apparently the FAA and Department of Interior have informed RMI that U.S. will not release funds for public works projects under lease terms that are a rip off, including the much needed FAA project to improve the Majuro international airport.

Apparently the U.S. finally has figured out that land lease system in RMI for public works projects is a rip off of the RMI treasury and the U.S. Treasury. There are even reports that deBrum or someone acting on his behalf may own land adjacent to the airport expansion project site.

Like the Kwajalein land use lease that makes the feudal lords the wealthiest men throughout the entire Micronesian region, and also like the attempt by Imata Kabua and his foreign partners to invade Rongelap resettlement trust fund to pay the feudal lords for use of Rongelap land to benefit the community, the new land fill lease rights law reportedly appears that it may be part of a scheme to use public projects on public lands as a “cash cow” to be milked in order to make the richest men in the RMI even more wealthy.

The U.S. may finally be realizing that the feudal lords under Marshallese do not take care of the “commoners” in a fair way as traditionally required under Marshallese custom, and keep most of the wealth concentrated in the ruling class.

In addition, sources in the RMI government indicate that the U.S. has told the RMI that the recent law to restore the powers of the Kwajalein Atoll local development entity known as KADA does not mean the U.S. will deal with that entity on Kwajalein funding and base rights agreement implementation. The U.S. instead intends to deal with the RMI, and views KADA as the surrogate of the feudal lords who have abused the commoners in the past.

An in depth report on the deBrum role in these matters will appear at this site soon. The failures in RMI policy toward the U.S. under deBrum are exposing the flaws in U.S. and RMI practices deBrum seeks to exploit, and that require reform if free association is to be sustained as a successful alliance.


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