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Japan attacking Pearl Harbor cost Hitler the war

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Japan attacking Pearl Harbor cost Hitler the war

This isn’t a read on how great American military might was back in 1941. Rather this is a perspective of how strategically unwise Axis power Japan was by striking Pearl Harbor. In fact, I would argue that this strategic blunder cost the Axis the war, or more specifically, the Russian campaign.

State of the War Prior to Pearl Harbor

In North Africa, the Britain launched Operation Crusader which later resulted in a major victory for the British in this theatre. In the European Theatre, the main focus for Nazi Germany was advancing on the Russian front. It’s important to note that the Soviet Union had a numerical and terrain advantage over the Germans, however, Germany started out with a distinct advantage in technology and the capability of using it. After clearing the Balkans and Greece because Axis power Italy couldn’t, Germany commenced Operation Barbarossa on June 22, 1941. The campaign was off to a good start but Bock’s Army Group Center was forced to relieve the campaign in Kiev, one of Hitler’s most disastrous decisions. This decision bought Moscow more time to prepare. By December 5th, two days prior two Pearl Harbor, Moscow was heavily reinforced. 

Image from Westpoint

What Japan should have done

The United States was Japan’s naval rival in the Pacific. America could collectively outnumber Japanese forces. This is similar to Germany and USSR prior to Operation Barbarossa. However, there were many prizes to be won from Britain, France in the South. Japan should have pursued those. But in an effort to help their allies and gain crucial resources, Japan should have launched an attack on the Soviet Union. Japan hadn’t had a whole lot of success attacking the Soviets in the past. At very least, this would have prevented the Soviets from reinforcing their western front with the well trained Siberian forces, designed for winter. This would have changed the Battle of Moscow in Germany’s favor. Odds are, Moscow would have fallen without these reinforcements. Japan’s gains in the north may have been nominal but the damage to the Soviet Union would have been devastating. With the fall of Moscow, Hitler could have devoted Army Group Center and Army Group South to seize Stalingrad and the oil-rich Caucus Mountains. With immediate attention to the west, Japan could have eventually worn away Russian forces and made significant gains of their own.

In the Pacific, Japan could have simultaneously handled anyone who wasn’t the United States. They could have isolated Australia and have developed grand infrastructure for a maritime empire. This would have left the Philippines surrounded discouraging the US from intervening.

What Japan actually did

Instead of helping allies, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Believing Americans didn’t have the stomach for war, they expected America to take it. Japan to their credit launched several successful attacks to seize land from European nations. Eventually, America cracked their code and was a step ahead in crucial battles such as Midway.

Hitler was then coerced into declaring war on the US without any major preparations. The US helped Britain turn the tides in the Mediterranean and eventually invaded Europe from multiple fronts. With the reinforcements from the east, the Russians were able to hold Moscow in one of World War 2’s most crucial battles. Russia was bought enough time to make some technological advancements that turned defense into offense.

Takeaway

Fighting on multiple fronts is not a recipe for success unless you’re America. It’s very possible the Soviet Union would have fallen in a two-front war. The demise of Nazi Germany is often credited to Operation Barbarossa, but Russia was a beatable opponent for Hitler. I would say Hitler lost because his allies sucked. Japan got Germany into wars they didn’t want, and Italy couldn’t hold their own and always needed Nazi support. Perhaps Hitler should have allied with Spain to help cut off supply lines for Britain. There are a lot of what ifs in World War Two, but its a good thing evil has a hard time finding quality friends unless you’re Stalin, but even that didn’t last long. Japan attacking Pearl Harbor ensures we’ll never know what would have happened if they had simply been strategically minded.

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Foreign Affairs

We must move forward knowing North Korea will not end its nuclear program

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We must move forward knowing North Korea will not end its nuclear program

There is nothing the United States, China, the United Nations, or anyone else can do to coax North Korea into ending its nuclear program. They will keep researching. They will keep testing missiles and nuclear devices. They cannot be pressured. Neither sanctions nor harsh words of any kind will change their minds.

Perhaps Dennis Rodman can do something, but I doubt it.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council today, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discussed the options for North Korea:

“It can reverse course, give up its unlawful nuclear weapons programs, and join the community of nations, or it can continue to condemn its people to poverty and isolation.”

It seems as if the United States is starting to make it clear to the world that we’ve made every attempt possible to stop their nuclear program without actually invading. What does this mean? If you guessed, “we’re invading,” you may be right. We know the option is on the table. We also suspect the President will not do it without international support. It’s not that he needs approval; recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel demonstrated he doesn’t seek international approval. He does, however, need to avoid an international outcry against American “imperialism” in order to keep us out of other conflicts and to prevent damage to the economy.

Some nations wouldn’t support a military action by the United States unless we were attacked first. A few wouldn’t even support a military response if we did get attacked. Regardless, that’s the contingency plan the President is apparently considering. If he can justify starting a war to prevent them from attacking us first with nuclear weapons, he may take us down that road.

Diplomacy isn’t working:

North Korea vows to ‘march forward’ with nuclear program to protect itself from US

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/north-korea-vows-to-march-forward-with-nuclear-program-to-protect-itself-from-us/article/2643638“Our possession of nuclear weapons was an individual self-defensive means of defending our sovereignty and right of existence and development from the U.S. nuclear threat,” said Ja Song Nam, the North Korean permanent representative to the United Nations. “If anyone is to blame for it, the U.S. is the one who must be held accountable.”

“[North Korea] will march forward and make great advancement [in its weapons program],” he added.

My Take

I am not endorsing war. I’m also not opposed to it if the need is great enough. There isn’t a simple solution to the North Korean problem. There isn’t even a complex solution, really. All we have are potential actions that we can take to try to stop a regime that hates us from having the capacity to destroy us.

There is another option. What if we just left them alone? They apparently won’t stop provoking us, South Korea, or Japan. What if we just ignore them? Let them do their thing. Isolate them. Shoot down any missiles that are heading towards our airspace or the airspace of our allies. I don’t like that option any better than a military option, but when all the choices are bad, we have to try to determine which ones are less bad than the others.

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Media

David French on why victory over ISIS isn’t a bigger story

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David French on why victory over ISIS isnt a bigger story

Did you hear? The Islamic State is all but eliminated militarily. There are still pockets of resistance and the lone wolf terrorists with which to contend, but the brave men and women who fought against the Islamic State should be coming home soon to a heroes’ welcome, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe most people aren’t aware that ISIS was defeated because the press essentially didn’t cover it.

National Review’s David French, a veteran, took issue with this. As a journalist, he also pointed some of the blame to his industry.

“Part of the blame still rests with us. Let’s be honest: Panic and fear make for a better story than victory and peace.”

Source: National Review

ISIS Defeated: Why Does No One Care?

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454655/isis-defeated-why-does-no-one-careThe announcement came on Saturday. Just three days before the Alabama special election that transfixed the nation, and on the same day that President Trump fact-checked the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel, Iraq’s prime minister declared victory in the war against ISIS. Iraq — with indispensable American help — has regained control of its cities and its border with Syria. ISIS has been reduced to a shadow of its former self.

The victory isn’t confined to Iraq. American-allied forces control ISIS’s former capital in Syria, and the world’s largest jihadist army is gone. Bands of insurgents still prowl the countryside, and ISIS cells exist across the world, but the war against the “caliphate” is over. It’s been won.

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Economy

Pentagon is going to audit… everything

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Pentagon is going to audit everything

In 2010, the National Defense Authorization Act called for a annual audits. Starting in 2018, they’re going to fulfill their obligation and audit everything from top to bottom.

This couldn’t have come at a better time. Budgets have been exploding and waste is rampant at the Pentagon as it has always been. This audit, which the Defense Department is calling “huge,” should shed some light on the way our tax dollars are used. While few conservatives would argue we’re spending too much on defense, the sheer waste that goes on in everything Washington DC touches should make us cheer about seeing what’s behind the curtain.

After Years of Avoidance, the Defense Department Will Finally Conduct an Audit

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/454487/after-years-avoidance-defense-department-will-finally-conduct-auditThe Defense Department will conduct an agencywide financial audit for the first time in history, following requirements in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. In a conference yesterday, the Pentagon committed to annual audits, with reports to be issued in November.

The Department’s careless approach to finances is notorious. It has gone so far as to bury a study that demonstrated how it could save $125 billion dollars of bloat, to continue a multi-trillion dollar corporate welfare program for a jet with decades-old computing and worse flying ability than planes from the 1970s, and so on, deflecting any criticism by asserting that the skeptics do not care about American lives.

If anything, this should give the President and Congress plenty of ammunition to claim they can fix the fiscal status of government without cutting if they simply get rid of the waste. That’s been a sticking point for some fiscal conservatives who are happy that we’re probably getting tax cuts but disgusted we’re not doing more to cut budgets and go after the national debt.

Here’s the official release from the Pentagon:

Officials Announce First DoD-Wide Audit, Call for Budget Certainty > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Article

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1391471/officials-announce-first-dod-wide-audit-call-for-budget-certainty/The audit is massive. It will examine every aspect of the department from personnel to real property to weapons to supplies to bases. Some 2,400 auditors will fan out across the department to conduct it, Pentagon officials said.

“It is important that the Congress and the American people have confidence in DoD’s management of every taxpayer dollar,” Norquist said.

Audits are necessary to ensure the accuracy of financial information. They also account for property. Officials estimate the department has around $2.4 trillion in assets. “With consistent feedback from auditors, we can focus on improving the processes of our day-to-day work,” the comptroller said. “Annual audits also ensure visibility over the quantity and quality of the equipment and supplies our troops use.”

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