The use of the term "One Guam" has assumed prominence in relation to military realignment in Guam within high profile speeches by political leaders in the U.S., both on local and federal levels. One Guam represents federal financial assistances to the civilian community of the island affected by the current federal build-up plan, linking civilian affairs and military affairs. Historically, the island has been divided under the control of two administrations: the civilian community under the Government of Guam and the military community under the U.S. Department of Defense. Though the U.S. Department of the Interior supervises federal government's administration over the island, there is no federal agency that is responsible for financing the island's civilian affairs. As a result, in spite of the fact that the civilian infrastructures were found to be insufficient to support the implementation of the build-up plan, there was little national budget allocated to improve the situation.
Initially articulated by the U.S. Department of the Navy and the Government of Guam, the discourse of One Guam has been successful in making the issue a political agenda on a federal level. This article argues that the U.S. Navy Department and the Government of Guam allied centering on the discourse and appealed it to the President and the Congress in order to explore a new channel to engage the U.S. Department of Defense with civilian affairs on Guam. Despite different notions on the "civilian community," the U.S. Navy Department and the local government nonetheless cooperated in promoting One Guam because they shared a stake in getting financial assistances from federal agencies.
Meanwhile, the discourse has been extended to elements of U.S. military strategies by the Obama administration. This extension of the discourse of One Guam within the public sphere was followed by political actions on a federal level. The U.S. Congress recognized that Guamanians' loyalty to the U.S. during the World War II is integral to the successful military build-up on the island. Meanwhile, the President of the U.S. made it clear that he would promote "One Guam, Green Guam," to realize a "sustainable Guam." This paper explores the discursive return to Guamanian loyalty as a component of successful military realignment on Guam and argues that the Obama administration aims at realizing "sustainable Guam" in order to show enduring commitment of the U.S. to the Asia Pacific.
One Guam was originally a means to attain federal assistance for the island's civilian community, but has evolved into an integral part of the U.S. national security strategy.