This week marks the 72nd anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. It is clear that the lessons of that terrible day have been all but forgotten by the United States. As they did in the months and years before December 7, 1941, the lights of freedom and safety are going out across the globe.
America could, as it did last week, point to the catastrophic errors from one end of the world to the other that this most incompetent White House in history has made. Instead, let’s look at the virtual repeat of the scenario that led to the Pearl Harbor attack.
As the U.S. did in the years after World War One, the United States under President Obama has withdrawn from leadership in international affairs. Its military is deprived of necessary funds. Its forces are being reduced below the safety level. Its service men and women are deprived of rightful benefits.
Most threateningly, the American fleet is a shadow of itself, and getting smaller all the time. It is less than half its former size as opponents in Russia and China engage in ambitious and powerful naval construction programs. It is in danger of being overwhelmed, particularly in the Western Pacific.
China’s attack on offshore possessions of the Philippines in 2012 went unanswered, militarily or even diplomatically, by the Obama government. Encouraged, Beijing’s forces have become increasingly aggressive in the Pacific, threatening virtually all of its neighbors.
By 2020, for the first time since the Battle of Midway turned the tide of the Pacific theater of World War 2 in favor of the allies, the United States Navy will no longer be the predominant force in the Western Pacific if current trends continue.
Despite these shattering realities, the White House lives in a dream world built on a foundation of ignoring facts and relying on childlike beliefs that no harm could ever come from across the vast Pacific Ocean. It continues to believe that the massive arms buildup from Beijing means nothing. It ignores the powerful new alliance between Moscow and Beijing, evidenced by their joint war training maneuvers, just as far too many ignored the implications of the Nazi Alliance with Imperial Japan.
All of this is reminiscent of America’s weakened position before Pearl Harbor. There are, however, differences. Differences that work against, not for, the interests of the U.S. and all those seeking to avoid war.
Unlike Japan, China is a vast nation with the economic, industrial, and human resources to endure, and possibly win, a prolonged war. Unlike Japan, it has struck up an alliance with a nation, Russia, right on its border that can provide aid.
Unlike Japan, China has made significant inroads in the western hemisphere, allowing it to attack the strategically vital Panama Canal.
Beijing has developed powerful weapons, now deployed, that can destroy America’s naval forces at great distances. Its unique DF-21D missile can wipe out our carriers at a range of 810 miles.
On the American side, the vast manufacturing base that allowed the United States to build a powerful war machine that produced victory on two continents in World War 2 simply doesn’t exist anymore, a demise caused by a number of political and economic challenges. One example: the USA has only one plant that make tanks, a factory in Lima, Ohio, and President Obama has repeatedly attempted to close it.
President Biden has visited China, even as that nation deploys its new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, without any appropriate defensive response by the United States. In the bizarre mindset of the White House, a personal meeting by an Administration figure takes the place of actual military strength.
The recent report to Congress by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted that “By 2020, barring a U.S. naval renaissance, it is possible that China will become the world’s leading military shipbuilder in terms of numbers of submarines, surface combatants and other naval surface vessels produced per year..”
According to findings from the Pew Research Center, “For the first time in surveys dating back nearly 40 years, a majority (53%) says the United States plays a less important and powerful role as a world leader than it did a decade ago. The share saying the U.S. is less powerful has increased 12 points since 2009 and has more than doubled – from just 20% – since 2004. An even larger majority says the U.S. is losing respect internationally. Fully 70% say the United States is less respected than in the past.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. The White House has made incredibly bad choices in international affairs. It has chosen to replace needed military spending with politically popular welfare programs. It has chosen to not respond to Chinese aggression over the past several years. It has chosen to appease enemies and alienate allies.
Will the White House ever wake up and change course, or will it continue to emulate those who ignored radar reports at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941.