The Japan Times reports that Kyodo News is saying Japan sent messages to Washington earlier this year about the extent and specific protections Japan wanted from the United States under the “nuclear umbrella” defense policy.
The first paragraph says:
Before the shift in political power in September, Japan aggressively lobbied a U.S. congressional nuclear task force to maintain the credibility of the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” to deter possible attacks by China and North Korea, sources said Monday.
You know, I’m getting a little sick of this. On the one hand, America is treated in this country as the Merchants of Death whenever the issue of nuclear comes up. It’s like we’re Satan’s spawn or something.
But the flipside is how willing the allies are to pony up to the trading table in the shadows, when it comes to securing their own survivability in the nuclear world.
Doubts? Then read this shit:
The diplomats also told the commission, which was created by legislation passed during the George W. Bush administration, that the capability to penetrate underground targets with low-yield nuclear devices would strengthen the umbrella’s credibility, they said.
The U.S. military currently has only one nuclear “bunker buster,” the high-yield B61-11, which has about 20 times the explosive power of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The B61-11 has the potential to be so destructive and devastating to civilian populations that most U.S. military analysts and officials consider it too powerful to use in battlegrounds.
The Japanese diplomats also told the commission, chaired by former Defense Secretary William Perry, that Japan would like to be consulted beforehand if the U.S. ever considers retiring the nuclear-tipped Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, or TLAM-N, the sources said.
The diplomats suggested they believe the TLAM-N, a submarine-launched missile, is an important element in maintaining credible deterrence with China and North Korea, they said.
So not only was Japan requesting that we continue the nuclear umbrella policy, but they brought a wish list to the table of the things they wanted stocked on the submarines in case of an Asian Power attack. And additionally, that credibility is the thing they most want.
For people weak in Cold War history, let me put it out there again:
The United States for many years told both the Soviet Union and Mao’s China that it would not hesitate to use nukes as a first strike in the event of “communist aggression”. Because everyone knew that our ICBMs employed better technology, the chances that ours would do significantly more damage than anything that could be hurled back, apparently was enough to keep any aggression at bay.
In the end, this is what defense is, isn’t it? A message to an aggressor that whatever he does is going to meet with much worse consequences than anything he can imagine succeeding at.
This is what got the defense establishment back home so worked up about “terrorism” of the the 2001 sort, since they apparently were asleep at the switch at how to counter a threat like that, where the Big Stick isn’t as potent.
What gets really tiring as an American is to hear these people bad-mouth America left and right, and then, again, in the shadows, want to deal about what part of the threat they get to be included in. And how it can be made “credible” to their local tribal enemies.
This is a thing that Americans don’t consider enough. A lot of places in the world where our military is “strategically inserted” are basically “hot spots” because of centuries-old tribal warfare.
And we go in, taking the side of one, while trying to be friends of everybody.
North Pacific instability is basically the fault of Japanese in their previous tribal warfares with China and Korea. We come in as trucekeepers, but again, get painted as Merchants of Death. The military establishment in America, I feel, doesn’t consider the sociological aspect of this. They are just so happy(!) when they can land a base agreement.
I hope in the shadow discussions that go on in the background, these points are raised. It’s a little humiliating (worse than an ill-advised bow) to be a military power making sacrifices without appreciation. And then getting badmouthed for it by the same people you are helping out.