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U.S. stages carrier drills, announces new sanctions, after N Korea missile launches

7 Comments
By Josh Smith, Joori Roh and David Brunnstrom

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Before World War II, Japanese military cadets conducted a mock-up war with the U.S. and came to a conclusion that Japan would never fail to lose because of an enormous difference of power and resources between the two nations.

In spite of this, Japan went to war against the U.S., firmly believing that the Japanese spirit (Yamato Damashii) would win out finally against all odds. But you know the rest of the story. 

Looking at North Korea's provocative actions, I cannot help but think of prewar-day Japan’s bluff and self-confidence.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

VoO, well said. Little just needs TLC. Violence begets violence, and a show of reconciliation May lead to some sort of reciprocity. Only that the word love does not exist in foreign relations. They need to revise their manuals.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In spite of this, Japan went to war against the U.S., firmly believing that the Japanese spirit (Yamato Damashii) would win out finally against all odds. But you know the rest of the story. 

The Japanese concluded they had a six month window in which to run the then numerically inferior US forces out of the Pacific. After that a US industrial mobilization would make it impossible for Japan to prevail. Had the Battle of Midway gone the other way and US bases in Hawaii had been neutralized Japan's bet might have paid off. If you study the Battle of Midway the US Navy was supremely fortunate to win. By that point the US had been run out of the Philippines, Guam and Wake. They controlled most of Indochina and had run the Dutch and Royal Navies out of the Pacific and Indian Ocean. The Brits had been run out of the Solomon Islands. New Guinea was being contested and the Japanese had been bombing Darwin Australia. In short it was looking like Japan's gamble might pay off.

USS Yorktown barely made it to the fight at Midway and sailed into combat still badly damaged from the Battle of Coral Sea the month before. There were yard workers on board her trying to fix prior battle damage as she fought! The only advantage the US had was it had broken the Japanese codes and knew the Japanese were coming, the size of their force and when they planned to attack. However the US had no idea where the Japanese force was due to weather. Both forces found each other at about the same time forcing the Japanese admiral to make a decision to switch out bombs intended for another wave of attacks on Midway with torpedoes for use against ships. The Japanese admiral dithered and the loading crews in their haste just stacked the bombs up in their hanger bays instead of striking them back down into the magazines. That one poor decision basically sealed the fates of four front line aircraft carriers.

Still it was pure luck the US Navy won. The plan was for the torpedo bombers to attack at the same time the dive bombers arrived overhead with fighter support for both. That didn't happen. Everyone got lost on the way in. The torpedo bombers arrived without fighter cover and were almost every one was shot down. But by sheer dint of luck while the Japanese fighters were busy down low against the torpedo bombers the dive bombers eventually found the Japanese force and dived on them from high altitude. By then it was too late for the Japanese fighters to climb up and engage the dive bombers. Some of the Japanese carriers hit in that battle should have survived but with all those bombs stacked up in their hangers there was no surviving. The resulting secondary explosions tore them apart. If that battle had gone the other way Japan's big gamble might have succeeded.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Before World War II, Japanese military cadets conducted a mock-up war with the U.S. and came to a conclusion that Japan would never fail to lose because of an enormous difference of power and resources between the two nations.

False equivalency.

Japan by the time of Pearl Harbor had invaded and looted countries all across Asia. Before Pearl Harbor Japan had yet to taste US firepower.

North Korea, on the other hand, had more bombs dropped on it during the Korean War than the entire Pacific theater of WWII. a memory which drives their development and testing of missiles, which has only been exacerbated by decades of US war game exercises wit South Korea and recently even together with Japan, who as we know brutally occupied Korea for 35 years.

So yea totally different situation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sanctions work, eventually. They definitely make life harder for normal citizens. The hope is that a group of those citizens will ensure a leadership change from inside. Over time, both sides are impacted by sanctions and learn to live with them, but the side that is more cut off has it much harder.

Russia is learning this now. China is watching and afraid that access to western stock markets will disappear. The big western investment banks have already asked Congress what they can do to help.

For what happens with sanctions over time, look at Cuba which used to be a paradise. Venezuela is headed towards the level that Cuba is. NK has famines yearly and over fishes their waters in an attempt to feed their people. NK is lucky that China has a willingness to ignore UN sanctions, thus making it possible for them to hang on longer than they would otherwise.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

To me it doesn't look like sanctions are a very effective method of dealing with the situation other than promoting war .

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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