Yankee come home

A compelling case for the US to seriously pull back from its military commitments around the world. Or as Hoffman asks,  why is the US still fighting WWII? I note the article doesn’t mention the current China-Japan tensions.
There is of course a strong Jeffersonian case for the US withdrawing from many global conflict zones. People outside the US underestimate the strain of isolationism very much alive in the US. The more far flung the military action, the more perverse it sounds to people inside the US, who are invariably put on these missions. What matters to the people of TN or IL, what happens in the Mid East or Southeast Asia? The answer is that the US tried isolationism in the 1930s and it got them Pearl Harbor and the threat of Hitler in the North Atlantic. Still, withdrawing would actually free the US, and help it refocus on nation building at home for once.

If there were more Malcolm Frasers in Australia in the 1930s, he could have saved the country from the whole WWII bother.

But seriously, the irony is that Australia followed the US into two flawed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now that Australia could quite seriously need the security support of the US, you have its ex-prime ministers urging the country to spurn it.

Don’t forget Paul Keating’s assertion that the US couldn’t win a land war in Asia, which conveniently excludes the one major uncontained land and sea war in the Pacific that the US participated in during the 20th century.

The truth about Australia and China was summed up by yet another prime minister, when John Howard counselled against Australians becoming mesmerised by China’s rise. Part of the issue of the Senkaku-Diaoyu tensions and South China Sea tensions arise from the fact that China, superpower to be or not, doesn’t enjoy the chain of command that a country like the US would. As stated here there is “dysfunctionality of decision-making in China” even in issues as crucial as border disputes. Imagine how China would function in an actual war.

Where was this guy in the 1930s?

A Japanese war apology…revisited

What could possibly go wrong with this? My feeling is that no matter what the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe’s wording, it will make things worse. 

Newly installed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was quoted Monday saying that he would revisit a 1995 apology made by his nation’s government for suffering caused in World War II. 

Although other Japanese officials have suggested retracting apologies for wartime horrors, the words coming from Abe himself are bound to inflame anti-Japanese sentiment in China and the Korean peninsula and put the new government off to a bad start with its neighbors.