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Asian Pacific Center
director seeks another term
Retired Marine Lt. Gen. H.C. "Hank" Stackpole wants to stay for another three years as director of the U.S. Pacific Command's Asian Pacific Center for Security Studies although his views have been criticized by conservatives as being pro-China.
The Washington Times reported on Friday that his contract, which will expire in February, will not be renewed for the $134,000-a-year job.
Kathy Ingram, the center's spokeswoman, said the Pentagon changed its policy within the past year and now requires the directors of all of its five regional centers to reapply and compete if they want to remain on the job. Their contracts are no longer automatically renewed, so Stackpole is required to reapply if he wants to stay on, she said. Stackpole was first appointed to a three-year term in 1998 and was reappointed three years later. "He has no plans to leave ... he is reapplying for the job," Ingram said.
The newspaper said that Stackpole angered many conservatives by welcoming visitors from communist China while refusing to permit visitors from Taiwan to take part in the center's activities, until he was forced to do so by senior Pentagon officials. It said that Stackpole recently criticized President Bush for identifying Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an "axis of evil." Stackpole contended the president made the remarks only because he is intent on disrupting U.S. relations in Asia.
Since it opened in 1995, the center has been the target of some groups in Washington. Stackpole was traveling this week, but in an earlier Star-Bulletin interview Stackpole responded to his critics saying: "The Asia Pacific Center is pro-Asia Pacific. Our purpose is to build relationships with the entire region. China is large because of geography and demography but it is only one nation with which we deal. Policy is not made here, policy is made in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and we follow policy."
The 58th memorial service for the 100th Infantry Battalion will be held at 9 a.m. today at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The annual observance is conducted to coincide with the date of the first Japanese-American soldiers who were killed in action in Italy on Sept. 29, 1943.
Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, head of the state Department of Defense, will deliver the keynote address. Boy Scouts from Troops 99, 117 and 216 will decorate the graves of the 166 of the 100th Battalion soldiers who were killed in action, as well as the 334 other 100th Battalion soldiers who are buried at Punchbowl.
Remains of four American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War have been recovered by two teams from the Army Central Identification Laboratory at Hickam Air Force Base.
Two sets of remains believed to be those of soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division who fought against Chinese forces from November to December 1950 were recovered near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. About 1,000 Americans are estimated to have been lost in battles of the Chosin campaign. A second team recovered two sets of remains in Unsan County, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. This area was the site of battles between communist forces and the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry Divisions in November 1950.
The Defense Department's Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office negotiated terms with the North Koreans in July that led to the two month-long operations this year. The second operation will end on Oct. 28 when these remains and others will be repatriated.
Since 1996, 26 individual joint operations have been conducted in North Korea, during which 182 sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. soldiers have been recovered. Of the 88,000 U.S. service members missing in action from all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War.
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"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other
sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached can be reached by phone
at 294-4075 or by e-mail at email@example.com