Tuesday, December 7th, will mark the 80th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was an event that accelerated the process of designing the world we live in today. Not only that, but with an aggressive China, our gaze once again turns to the Pacific and a potential enemy there.
Will a US Marine officer in the not too distant future send a message from Taiwan that asks us to, “Send more Chicoms!” Perhaps not. Perhaps the Chinese will take the place without a fight. Or at least, an American fight. If that happens it will be during the current window of opportunity for China, which is also known as the Biden administration.
On that late 1941 Sunday morning, America was at peace. A tense peace, as the European War was over 2 years old and the Japanese were on the move. Because of intel and commo breakdowns, not to mention lucky weather, the Imperial Japanese Navy task force heading towards Hawaii was lost in the vast expanses of the Pacific. It was loudly found again over Pearl at about 8am local time. You know the rest of the story. However, will we be back soon, rifle in hand? Are we capable of it? No.
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Our Navy, who will also get beaten next Saturday on the gridiron, has hardly the resources to deal with a one ocean war. Two ocean? No way. That is assuming the Chinese would coordinate with the Iranians and Russians to attack in the Persian Gulf and Ukraine at the same time. And they would. We’d have to triage. We’d choose the Persian Gulf, leaving Taiwan and Ukraine to fend for themselves. And then, the world becomes a much more dangerous place.
You’d think the last 80 years would have taught us something about military preparedness. You’d think Munich 1938 would have taught us something about appeasement. But there are still many voices in America that think they can bring about domestic paradise by destroying the military. It’s the “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber” crowd. And those schools? They will be taught in Mandarin. Or Cantonese. Take your pick.
We’ve been through a lot in 80 years. Good and bad, war and peace. The nation even survived my 4 four years in the Army. But history serves as a teacher, the best teacher, for a reason. It hopefully lights the way to a future bereft of our past mistakes. New mistakes will abound. However, eventually that numbers game works for us. Unless we don’t listen and don’t remember. Then the names and faces will change, but the expenditure of blood and treasure will be just as tragic. 80 years, lest we forget…