Pacific Ocean, April 11, 2006 — The American flag flies high as the Utility Landing Craft (LCU-1635) travels to unload excess ammunition off of the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Tarawa is offloading her ammunition to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), which is preparing for a deployment to the Persian Gulf. (U.S. Navy photo by PhotographerÕs Mate Airman Apprentice Bryan Niegel)
The misbegotten notion that the South Pacific is a US sphere of influence

The speed at which Washington officials rushed to the Solomon Islands after news of a Chinese security pact is all you need to know.

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