Britain has now been instructed to properly finish the process of decolonizati
on, and return the Chagos Islands, located half way between Africa and Indonesia, to Mauritius.
The ruling, though non-binding, potentially creates a huge problem for the Unite
d States. Today, Diego Garcia is one of America’s most important — and secretive — overseas assets.
Home to over 1,000 US troops and staff, it has been used by the US Navy, the US Air Force and ev
en NASA — the island’s enormous runway was a designated emergency landing site for the spac
e shuttle. Diego Garcia has helped to launch two invasions of Iraq, served as a vital landing spot for bombers that fly mis
sions across Asia, including over the South China Sea, and has been linked to US rendition efforts.
Many in Britain, including Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the country’s opposition Labour Party, are now calling for the
UK to return the islands to Mauritius. Should that happen experts believe the ownership of Diego Garcia co
uld be up for negotiation — a move that would make Mauritius a much more important country geopolitically.